Embracing Competition: Austin’s McCormack stays strong in 3 sports

Published 8:17 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

At a time in high school sports when many athletes are starting to specialize in a sport with the hope of landing an athletic scholarship, there are some athletes who stick to the classic model of competing in three separate sports throughout the school year to keep a balance in their workload.

Jordyn McCormack, who will be a junior in Austin High School this fall, may have dedicated her summer to softball, but she’s had no thoughts of giving up on playing for the Packer volleyball or Packer girls hockey teams this school year.

Instead of specializing in a sport, McCormack has chosen to specialize in competition.

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“I love sports so much. I can’t go without playing and I don’t know what I’d do with myself without sports,” McCormack said. “I’ve played them so long. It’s stuck and it’s helped me grow as a person. I love all three sports and if I have to give any of them up in college, it will be really tough.”

McCormack also loves competing with her friends, which is why it was a tough decision for her to play with the Rochester Royals U16 softball team this past summer. McCormack was the only Austin player on the team and it was difficult for her to go much of the summer without playing with her fellow Packers.

Austin’s Jordyn McCormack winds up for a shot under pressure against Prairie Centre last season. Herald File Photo

““It was a tough decision, but I love the game and I wanted to commit to it. It was fun and I’m glad I did it,” McCormack said. “We competed with a lot of the teams from the cities and we did pretty well. I also made a lot of friends on the team.”

After hitting .528 in the spring season for the Packer softball team, McCormack also hit .528 for the Royals while playing center field and she added three homers, 11 doubles and 43 RBIs in 43 games. Rochester played games all over the country this summer and the Royals placed seventh out of 44 teams in nationals in Kansas City.

McCormack is going to make a big transition this season from follower to leader in all of her sports. She was brought up to varsity at a young age in volleyball, hockey and softball and she credits plenty of former Packers with helping her learn the ropes of varsity athletics.

“Madison Overby and Chloe Summerfield really helped me along in hockey when I was an eighth grader, Halie Retterath and Adison Medgaarden were a big help in softball and Teddi Eisenberg and Lauryn Bell were leaders in volleyball,” McCormack said. “I had a lot of older kids support me when I was younger and It feels really weird knowing that I’m one of the older kids now. I’m trying to be the best leader I can be now that I‘ll have some younger kids looking up to me.”

Jenna Braaten, who will be a senior in Austin this fall, has played with McCormack in softball and volleyball over the past few years. She’s seen McCormack mature on and off the field over that time.

When she was a freshman, everyone knew that Jordyn was going to be a great athlete. She’s an overall great athlete, who is very versatile and always willing to try new things to improve the teams that she’s on,” Braaten said. “Watching Jordyn grow into the great athlete she is has been fun and rewarding to me as I’ve seen the improvements she’s made over just two years. She’s become not only just a good player, but also a role model for younger girls.”

Austin’s Jordyn McCormack hits during game two against Mankato East last season. Herald File Photo

Austin Activities Director Lisa Quednow said that McCormack is a great example of how to handle a high school athletic career.

It is possible to play three sports and excel in each of them,” Quednow said. “In a time where people think specialization is the only way to be the best at a sport she is the proof that you can really become better at each sport because you cross train for all the things you are involved in.

After playing softball for the better part of five months, McCormack will now turn her focus to the Packer volleyball team, where Austin is looking to pick up some momentum under first year head coach Lauren Cost. Last season McCormack led Austin with 105 kills and she also had 76 blocks. The Packers won two Big Nine games last season after they had gone since 2011 since their last conference win.

McCormack is hoping the team can take even bigger steps this season.

“I’m a very competitive person and I love playing with my friends,” McCormack said. “I like to win and I love the adrenaline that comes with it.”