Broken Bow’s Jaylee Lopez – Athlete Spotlight Presented By Pine Cellular

She just loves to play and compete. That pretty well sums up how Broken Bow sophomore Jaylee Lopez feels about the game of softball. And her coach echoes those sentiments.

“I’ve been coaching for 16 years and haven’t had many kids come though my programs that just love to play and learn and put in the time to do it the way Jaylee does,” said Lady Savages coach Jimmie Wyrick. “Though she’s very talented, she stays after practice a lot just to get extra hitting and fielding reps.”

Following the fast pitch season of her freshman year, Jaylee was sidelined for basketball and slow pitch season by a knee injury, but she credits Wyrick and her parents for keeping her engaged and her spirits up during her rehab. She was looking forward to participating in high school slow pitch for the first time this spring until the coronavirus wiped it out.

Lopez actually started out playing baseball when she was young before getting into softball and travel ball when she was in the sixth grade. As she moved into the high school ranks, she cites the example set by a couple of former Savages on how to play and lead.

“I admired the way Michaela Richbourg and Jules Callaham (both now playing at Oklahoma State) led the team when they were here,” said Jaylee who plans to get involved in student council, FCA and the school’s book club when classes resume, hopefully, this fall.

Though she excels in both sports, Jaylee says she probably likes playing basketball a little more because it just comes more naturally but knows she’s better at softball. 

As it turns out, a lot of Jaylee’s talent is in the genes. Her mom was an All-State performer in track and basketball and her dad was a talented baseball player. And Jaylee and her siblings keep those parents hopping in the summer with their travel teams. Jaylee plays on a team out of the Muskogee/Fort Gibson area while her sister is on a team out of Ardmore and their brother plays on a team based in the Dallas metroplex.

And while it’s still anyone’s guess as to whether those teams will see action this coming summer, this spring’s cancellation along with her injury have given Jaylee Lopez a different perspective on high school athletics.

“I think this virus thing has made me more appreciative of the time I have in athletics,” said Lopez. “Even though I had to be out most of my freshman year with injury, I never really thought about not being able to play again until now. So I’d say just work for everything you do because you never know what’s ahead.”