Daily News spotlight athletes: Woodland Hills' Jake Jessell, Serra's Haley Havrilla
TribLIVE Sports Videos
School: Woodland Hills
Claim to fame: Jessell struck out 12 batters and allowed only one hit in complete-game victory over Allderdice on Friday. He then showed patience at the plate to draw the game-winning walk in a 1-0 victory over Pine Richland to help the Wolverines even up their Section 4-AAAA record to 2-2 (3-5 overall). He's hitting .261 with a double and four RBI.
“Jake carries himself very well,” coach Tim Banner said, “and we have a lot of expectations for him this year. He came in as a catcher and a pitcher but we moved him to third so he can pitch. He's very polished.”
What are you thinking about when you take the mound?
I'm just looking to get three outs as quickly as possible and have our team hit.
How many pitches do you throw?
I throw four. Fastball, curveball, change-up and slider.
Which do you like to throw the most?
I like throwing the fastball the most because I think it's the most dominant pitch I have, so I like to throw it a lot.
What would be your strategy for trying to strike out Mike Trout or Joey Votto?
I'm not sure. That's a tough one. I really wouldn't know. I'd try to keep the ball away from where their power zone is and mix a little off-speed stuff in there and make them guess.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
For me, it's just doing to the best I can to help the team. As a team, I would say make the playoffs. This year I think we have a good chance and I want to help my team as best I can to get there.
What's your favorite baseball movie?
Right now, I'd have to say Trouble With the Curve because it's just about a small town kid that comes out of nowhere and shows that he's just as good as anybody else even though no one has heard of him.
Who's your favorite player?
Mike Trout is my favorite because I just like the way he plays the game. He just loves to play and does so with a lot of enthusiasm.
Claim to fame: Havrilla is batting .552/.635/.621 with seven walks, eight RBI, 10 runs scored and five steals in five attempts. She has helped the Eagles to a 5-3 record in Section 2-A (6-3 overall).
“Haley has been a four-year starter at catcher for us,” coach Mike Elko said. “She's a consistent hitter and hits number one in our lineup. She's batting over .500 again this year and she gets walks as well. As long as she stays healthy, we're set. She's a very smart batter and knows the zone. She calls pitches very well too. She's deceptively fast on the bases and has a nice swing that you always try to teach.”
Do you use a certain strategy when you call pitches?
Usually I try to keep the pitcher as calm and relaxed as I can so she throws the best game she can. Whatever keeps her calm through the game. That helps the team stay calm as well.
Do you like batting or catching more?
That's tough. Probably being behind the plate because I'm involved in every play. I like working with the pitcher. I'm constantly in the game and always doing something with the pitcher.
Did you do anything special to prepare for this season?
Not really. I took it just like every other offseason. The offseason isn't a break for me. I did tee hitting and throwing just to get myself ready for the upcoming season. I'm constantly working.
What are your plans for next year?
I'm attending Carlow and majoring in biology. I received an academic scholarship as well. I'm going to be playing softball as well. I've been talking to the coach about what he's looking for next year.
What do you like doing outside of softball and school?
Honestly, hanging with my brother. Working on his school work with him to keep his grades up and playing sports with him. He's into baseball, basketball and hockey.
What's your favorite place to vacation?
I would say Myrtle Beach. It's so warm down there and it's always a great vacation to go down there.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I usually try to get myself in the zone, talking with other teammates and stretching out getting. Just relaxed and calm and ready to play my best.
— Robert Stinner
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Reports say 1 dead at Fort Meade gate crashing
- Owner of Penn Hills tombstone business pleads guilty to swindling the bereaved
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- LaBar: WrestleMania 31 one of the best ever
- Sex-soaked culture faulted for fraternity house parties
- Researchers uncover details to help get GOP candidates elected
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense