Senior pitcher doesn’t ‘walk’ to her future … she runs

Jessie Walk throws in a pitch against Vandalia Butler on Friday, March 15. Fairmont won 5-4.

Jessie Walk throws in a pitch against Vandalia Butler on Friday, March 15. Fairmont won 5-4.

For many young athletes, the first step in their dream is to play for the varsity team. They watch the high school athletes with eager eyes, anticipating the day that they could be in their shoes. They only see all of the glory, though, and none of the hard work and dedication it takes to get to the top. But most varsity athletes would say that it was all worth it in the end. For senior Jessie Walk, her young dreams came true as a freshman. 

As a freshman, Walk earned an important spot as a pitcher on the Varsity Softball team. “I always wanted to be a part of the Fairmont team,” she said. “It was always one of my big goals growing up.” 

Walk is taking her game to the collegiate level next year. She signed with The University of Rio Grande’s softball team earlier in the year. “I love the small-school feel at Rio Grande,” said Walk. “It just seems like the perfect fit for me.” 

Along with playing softball practically year-round when she was young, Walk also played basketball and volleyball for various teams. She claimed she ‘“knew all along” that softball was going to take her the farthest. 

Softball became Walk’s life. In elementary school, she started practicing with her father in the back yard for an hour a day. “My dad is definitely who inspired me to be the best I can be,” she said. 

Growing up in a family of athletes, Walk had a lot of pressure on her to succeed. The pressure never got the best of her. In fact, the pressure is a part of what drives her. “She comes from a great family and will be a great addition to our family,” said Rio Grande Head Softball Coach Dawnjene DeLong in an interview at Walk’s signing. 

Walk also plays for a select summer team called Xpress. She knew that if she was going to reach her goals, she had to take her game to the next level. The team won Nationals the summer before Walk’s sophomore year. “Winning Nationals in Virginia was amazing. It was such a unique feeling,” said Walk. 

Walk’s competitive nature can sometimes get the best of her. “I have a hard time letting things go in a game because I’m just so competitive,” Walk admits. “I’ve been working on it, though.” 

Walks’ teammates admire her for her love of the game. Being a member of the softball team all four years of high school, she has grown close to many of her teammates.

“Jessie is very fun to play with,” said senior player Stacie Gilbert. “Everyone can tell how much softball means to her when she plays.”