L’Anse Creuse senior signs to join track team at an Alabama university
May 21, 2014
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Former Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse volleyball coach Alysia Williams has nothing but good things to say about a player she coached for three years.
Williams, now an associate principal at L’Anse Creuse, said during her four years at the school, senior Jaevyn Wortham has been an important part of the Lancer family. Williams also said Wortham, a volleyball, and track and field standout, has made a name for herself as a person and an athlete.
On May 14, Wortham signed to join the track and field team at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. A two-time state champion in the discus, Wortham will throw discus, hammer and compete in the weighted shot put at Troy.
Wortham said she loved everything about Troy — even though it’s almost 900 miles from home. She plans to major in journalism, which Troy offers. Going to a warmer climate will allow Wortham to throw year-round, she said. The senior also looked at Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Northwood University and Siena Heights University.
“At first, I wanted to stay close to home, but then I decided I wanted to get away and go somewhere hot and throw year-round because it’ll be better for me,” Wortham said. “My dad (Donald Wortham) wanted me to stay close to home, too, but he changed his tune when we visited (Troy).”
Williams’ words of praise for Wortham came during a ceremony where Wortham signed her letter of intent. The former Lancers volleyball coach acknowledged that the event centered on Wortham’s track and field exploits, but she couldn’t help but share in this special moment.
“Jaevyn’s exceeded expectations far beyond what she thought she could do in athletics and academics,” Williams said. “Her fight stands out. She has strong will. She knows what it means to be an athlete, a competitor and a leader. She’s proven that over the course of her four years at L’Anse Creuse.”
Wortham has racked up all kinds of honors. She’s a two-time All-County volleyball player, an All-State honors recipient in the shot put, winner of a regional championship in the discus and holder of the L’Anse Creuse record in the event.
Jaevyn mom, Dawn, was almost speechless when trying to find the words to describe how proud she is of her daughter. Dawn said Jaevyn has already accomplished much more at this point in her life than she or Donald.
“I always tell (Jaevyn) that she could break records and that one day we might see her in the Olympics,” Dawn said.
Jaevyn’s coach, Mike Hale, said she has come a long way and has worked extremely hard to improve her skills. He admitted he’s been hard on Jaevyn at times, but that he always had her best interest at heart.
“I always knew what she had the potential to be,” Hale said. “I’ve done my research. I went back 30 years, and I couldn’t find a three-time state champion in the discus. She has the chance to do that.”
Jaevyn may be ready to take on the talent at the next level, but she still has some business to take care of at the prep level. She wants to break the state record in the discus — 154 feet, 9 inches, set in 2003. After that, she’s on to college, where she can’t wait to continue with something she started at L’Anse Creuse — being a social butterfly.
“I love knowing everyone,” Jaevyn said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting new people.”
Dawn said she will miss her daughter and plans to use various forms of technology to keep in touch.
“I can call her and Skype with her every day,” Dawn said. “To me, she’s already gone because she’s never home. She’s always at a practice or some event, or somewhere with her friends. I’m going to look at it like that — like she’s just out with a friend or at practice and not all the way in Alabama.”