For West Holmes senior Jessica Marmet, everything was in place for an enjoyable run through her final season of basketball with the Lady Knights.
Marmet, who is bound for Malone University to play next season, had bided her time behind last year’s group of seniors and was now ready to take center stage and help lead the Lady Knights’ program.
But a series of unfortunate injuries, the final one being a fully torn ACL tear, rendered her year over. The what-might-have-beens now would only be speculation as she became her teammates’ number-one cheerleader. Marmet played sparingly against Triway early in the season, but that experiment didn’t last long, and she shut it down for surgery.
“I actually contemplated playing on it, but I found out that I could hurt my knee even further, so I figured it was time to stop because I have four more years of playing at Malone to look forward to. I played like five minutes in that Triway game, but I am grateful that I was able to at least do that because it will be the final five minutes of my high school career.”
Marmet said not being able to play, watching her team go out in practice and games without her, and sitting on the sideline knowing she can’t do anything to help them is difficult.
However, as a senior she said she continues to try to bring a spark of energy and encouragement from the sideline.
West Holmes senior Jess Marmet has gone from a starring role to a cheerleader (pictured in black shirt above).
“As a senior it is still important for me to try to take a leadership role,” Marmet said. “That is a role I have looked forward to for a long time, and I try to find ways to be a leader without actually playing. When you get dealt a bad hand, there are always ways you can continue to contribute, but I miss the game so much.”
While she does that, Marmet continues to rehab with the knowledge that Malone University and college ball wait for her next season. That is enough to keep her excited.
She said her sister already attends Malone, so having family there was a big plus. She also said that the Pioneers being a faith-based school was important, and talking to head coach Rick Tice had a great deal in helping her make her decision to become a Pioneer.
“When I met Rick, he was such a down-to-earth guy, and he put his faith first, and that meant a lot to me,” Marmet said.
Now past the crutches stage in her ongoing rehabilitation, Marmet said the going seems to take so long, but Tice told her to take her time and make sure she prepares the right way to get ready for the coming season.
Oddly enough Marmet’s best friend Alexis Hunter, another Lady Knights senior basketball player, also was injured coming into the season, and the two had knee surgery the same day, just four hours apart, and the two have begun recovering and rehabbing right next to each other. Together they have found solace and support in their rehabilitation.
Marmet’s BFF and classmate Alexis Hunter joined Marmet on the DL, and the two had surgery in the same hospital just hours apart.
“It was strange because she was coming out of surgery right as I was going in,” Marmet said of Hunter. “I talked with her a little bit, and that helped calm my nerves down a lot. I am so blessed and happy to have her as a best friend. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through this, but it is very comforting knowing I have someone like her to help me through this.”
The two BFFs and teammates even made the news as part of a series on WKYC.
While she will once again enjoy the game she loves next year at Malone, she also has her sights set on a specific major as she prepares to enter college, and she already knows she will be pursuing a degree in zoo and wildlife biology.