Athlete of the week: Jessie Clemons


Matthew Puttney

Junior Jessie Clemons competes in the State Championship game on Friday Mar. 3. Clemons put up a total of 18 points, and also earned the award of Top Producer for the game.

Libby Kamp, Sports Editor

As a member of the 2nd team all state, all MAC and winner of many solo titles such as MAC player of the year, Jessie Clemons can do it all. Only a junior at Pleasant Valley High School, Clemons has managed to make her mark in PVHS athletics. 

Track, basketball and softball are three of Clemons’ strong suits. But as a kid, she participated in softball, baseball, soccer and basketball. Track, basketball, and softball were the sports that stuck with Clemons. 

Clemons’ family has made an immense impact on her athletic development. “My family dynamic would be described as competitive and playful. We are constantly throwing various balls around our house, and when it’s nice out we are often playing catch outside,” Clemons said. She often refers to her family as her biggest supporters, especially her twin brother Justin Clemons. 

Clemons is an extremely versatile athlete. All three of her main sports share similar characteristics, allowing her to succeed. Whether Clemons is on the court running up and down, sprinting across the finish line or making her way to home base, she is always showcasing her competitive drive. 

Out of all three sports, Clemons has a stronger connection to softball, a sport that she knew she would be successful in from a young age. In November of 2022, she decided to commit to Iowa State. Clemons’ driven personality led her to success.  

“I knew that I was going to play softball in college in Junior High. I played for a softball team that traveled a lot to big tournaments and I had a recruiting page where coaches could learn more about me,” Clemons continued.  “I liked spending a majority of my time playing softball in the summer and fall and I had easy access to a throwing partner because both my brothers play baseball.”

Coach José Lara, the head coach of the girls’ softball team, has always noticed Clemons’ love for the sport and determination as an athlete. “JC, as a student athlete, is willing to go outside her comfort zone to improve. She realizes that a growth mindset makes herself and the team better,” Lara said. “As a person, she is a role model. She does not shy away from hard work.”

Clemons’ teammates are what keeps her motivated. As a recent state champion in basketball, Clemons shared her excitement about the team this season. “This basketball season I was surrounded by players who live for the sport and whose competitive drive is never shaken. It helped me push myself harder and compete with good competition day in and day out,” Clemons said.

Although Clemons’ teammates play a large role in her success, she made herself a well known player on the PV girls’ basketball team this previous season. Coach Jennifer Goetz, the PV girls’ basketball head coach was enthusiastic about Clemons’ mark on PVGBB. “Jess is such a competitor, and it’s  because she never backs down from a challenge. Her will to win is remarkable and she made us a better team in many facets but her competitive drive separated us from other teams,” Goetz stated. 

Not only do Clemons’ teammates build her up, but her coaches here at PV do as well. “I love my coaches here at PV, each one of them has different styles of coaching that I appreciate. Goetz is my mother, she keeps me honest and knows when I need tough love or encouragement, my track coaches are all my besties, they run workouts with me and push me every time, and José is my father, he pushes me past my limits and gets them to grow,” stated Clemons. 

As for Coach Kenny Wheeler, he felt strongly about Clemons and her performance as a track athlete. “Jessie also brings energy, heart, effort, and do-it-for-the-team attitude that you love to see in the athletes you coach. What’s impressed me about her is her consistency and poise, and so she’s always ready to take on the task at hand…it has been an honor to have an opportunity to coach her,” Wheeler said. 

As Clemons looks forward to her upcoming track and softball seasons and another year with PVHS athletics, she plans to keep growing as an athlete and prepare herself for her future career as a Cyclone. With her family, teammates, coaches and fans, Clemons will continue to grow as an athlete, and so will her list of accomplishments.