Jasmine James Experiences Norwood’s Full Volleyball Rotation

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
November, 2019
Article Body: 

For around five years, Norwood’s Jasmine James was all about softball, that is until she got involved with competitive volleyball. Having gone to volleyball camps and clinics prior to entering high school, there was no real spark for the sport, but once she got into competitive volleyball, things changed.
“I began playing competitively my freshman year,” James said. “I loved it so much I joined Mass Premiere, a club team out of Foxboro, and things just clicked.” I had done it all, softball, gymnastics, dance and lacrosse, but I just didn’t feel it the way I do with volleyball.”
Volleyball had become her passion and wanting to concentrate on the sport, so she eventually dropped softball. She also realized that playing for a club volleyball team, she was exposed to a lot of college coaches that came to watch the athletes perform. It was a no brainer for the first-year high school athlete.
Originally, James made her way onto the junior varsity squad her first season at Norwood, but playing for Mass Premiere not only helped her improve her game it gave he the opportunity to earn a spot on the Mustangs varsity team her sophomore year.
Despite moving up to varsity her second year, things were a little tough during her first campaign.
“Going into tryouts, I was not sure of myself and where I would fit in, but once things started I felt very comfortable with my game,” James said.
When the finalization of the teams were being announced, James found herself pulled away from the other freshman to be told that she would be playing on the junior varsity team instead of the freshman squad. While it was an honor, it was also a difficult time for the freshman.
“It was very awkward at first leaving all the other girls in my age group,” James said. “But the sophomores and juniors on the JV team were very welcoming. It was a happy time to a certain degree.”
Come the end of her first season, James and her teammates found themselves in a lot of competitive tournaments, where she was a middle hitter in a three row rotation playing front line only. It was not only good for her game but it was giving her the confidence she needed to advance to the next level of play.
“She’s a one of a kind player who has worked extremely hard to get where she is,” Norwood Coach Paul Nimblett said. “Jasmine is not only a year round player, but she has developed into a power hitter, who can also serve and pass with the best of them.”
Beginning as a middle hitter because of her height, James now finds herself playing outside hitter for the Mustangs. However, while playing middle hitter for Norwood during her sophomore year, she was part of the Mustang team that made a run through the Division 2 South tournament.
“As a sophomore, I subbed in at middle hitter,” James said. “I had a role in helping the team get to the tournament, but I was not one of the top reasons we did so. It was kind of a dream (to advance into the tournament and do so well), unfortunately no other girls from my grade were on the team with me.”
Her Coach believes that she has been an essential part of the Mustang volleyball program.
“Through the years, she has been a big part of our team and has helped get us to the Semi Finals her sophomore year,” Nimblett said. “She is an all-around player who blocks, hits and serves. So far this season she has been averaging 10 kills a game and I expect her to only get better as the season goes on.”
As a senior captain on this year’s squad, James is not only hoping to help lead Norwood back into the tournament, but put the Mustangs back on the map when it comes to volleyball.
“I want to create a name for Norwood volleyball once again,” James said. “Although we lost in the Semi-Finals a few years ago, last year was not too good of a season and teams are looking at us like we’re an easy win. I want to change that back. We are a determined team looking to challenge for the Tri-Valley League Championship.”
With this being her final high school volleyball season, James would like to go out on top. Once the season is over, she’ll still have Mass Premiere to help get her name out there to colleges. She is currently looking at schools close to home with not only a good volleyball program but one that has that campus vibe.