Scholar athlete: Petty uses athletics as a motivation to do well in classroomPublished 12:01am Thursday, September 26, 2013
NATCHEZ — Finding the motivation to make good grades isn’t difficult for Adams County Christian School sophomore Jordan Petty.
All she has to do is remember that, without good grades, there won’t be any extra curricular activities.
Petty, who plays softball and basketball, runs track and is a member of the ACCS dance squad, said that reminder is all the motivation she needs to buckle down in the classroom.
“I’m really self-motivated, but I also don’t really have a choice to make lower than an A or B with my parents,” Petty said. “Ever since I started playing sports, they told me I have to keep my grades up, or I can’t play. If I don’t have sports, I don’t have anything.”
An A-B student, Petty said the trick to making good grades while staying busy with sports comes down to making sacrifices, whether it’s not getting as much sleep or not going out with friends.
“It’s all about making time (to study),” Petty said. “Either I’ll have to stay up late, or I’ll have to cancel plans I have with friends so I can do my homework. It’s difficult, but if you do the right things, that time will come where you do have time to do free stuff with friends.”
Softball is “by far” Petty’s favorite sport, she said, and she wouldn’t mind continuing to play the sport beyond high school.
“It’s what I could actually see myself doing if I did anything (sports-related),” she said. “It’s just what I love — it’s always been my favorite.”
ACCS softball coach Forrest Foster said he’s enjoyed having Petty on his team, especially since she a strong defender at third base.
“She’s extremely competitive, and she’s a bulldog at third,” Foster said. “She has no fear over there. I think she’s made but three errors at third base, which is unheard of.
“We moved her (from catcher) over to third because we were kind of struggling over there, and that’s the best move I’ve made all year long.”
Foster also said Petty hits the ball extremely well and is a resilient player — qualities she gets from her family, he said.
“She bounces back from injury very quickly, and she’s just a very gutsy kid and a pleasure to coach,” Foster said. “What makes her tick (comes from her family). Her mother, father and grandmother and grandfather on his mom’s side are all that way. It’s just bred in that child.”
Whether it’s softball or one of the other sports she plays, Petty said she tries to stay as involved in athletics and extra circulars as possible.
“It keeps me going,” Petty said. “I feel like I have to keep moving, because I’m always playing. I’m not one of those people that can sit still. I always have to keep going.”
Petty hasn’t taken the ACT yet, and she said she’s not sure where she wants to go to college or what she wants to major in. She is the daughter of Michael and Stephanie Petty.