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Student in the Spotlight

By Taylor Shillam | Photo by Adam Shanley

Jaylene Ziegler, Senior Coeur d’Alene High School

Student in Spotlight

Coeur d'Alene High School senior and soccer player Jaylene Ziegler comes from several generations of number 42 jerseys.

“The history of the number 42 and the Ziegler last name started with my dad in the 1960s,” shared Jaylene’s father, Ben Ziegler. “He attended Coeur d’Alene High School and wore the number 42 on his football jersey.”

Ben and his brothers then wore the 42 jersey in their respective sports at Coeur d'Alene High School. “The youngest, my sister Katie, didn’t get to wear the number 42 just because of the sports she played, but she participated in volleyball, track and soccer, and she looks just like Jay,” said Ben.

“Jay is a goalkeeper now, and the third generation of sharing the number 42." The Ziegler family has held the 42 tradition “spanning 50 to 60 years, all at Coeur d’Alene High School, born and raised in Coeur d’Alene.”

Now, Jaylene has made an impression in her own right, and at 17, has learned a lot from her athletic career and academic endeavors.

“One of the biggest challenges I've faced is switching the position I play in soccer so late in my career,” she said. “I switched to playing goalkeeper one year before high school, and it was difficult because the position is so different mentally and physically compared to the others.”

She's learned to stay motivated through mental blocks and a serious knee injury her freshman year. "I have been playing soccer for 13 years, and I got to a point where I was bored and had mentally checked out, until I started playing goalkeeper," she said.

"Motivating myself to continue through all of the changes was the biggest challenge, but the most rewarding in the end."

It’s clear that Jaylene doesn’t shy away from challenges. The competitive aspect is one of her favorite parts of athletics.

“I've always enjoyed the competition and the high level soccer can be played at,” she said. “The sport is available to a wide variety of people, even if they have never stepped on the field before.”

As she moves forward into her college career and beyond, she hopes to be a positive mentor and example for younger players.

Academically, Jaylene loves to express herself through creative writing, for which she won an award her sophomore year. “I love being able to freely write and express my emotions,” she said.

Jaylene is currently looking at being recruited to play soccer in college, with her sights set on the East Coast, and big plans for the future.

“I plan on studying exercise science and sports psychology, to then advance to graduate school and end with a doctorate degree in physical therapy,” she shared. "I've always planned to become a physical therapist, because I've personally been through the process of physical therapy and want to help others with it."

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