POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – If you’re a high school basketball fan in the area, you’ve no doubt heard the name Jackie Grisdale.
She comes from a basketball family. Her mom, Kim, was a standout athlete at Poland and her dad, Ken, is the boys coach for the Bulldogs.
Jackie is an All-State basketball player but is so much more than that at Poland. She does it all, competing in six different varsity sports and setting records left and right. Plus, to top it all off, she leads her class academically, earning Jackie the honor of our “Student Athlete of the Week.”
“I kind of always grew up just playing whatever I could,” Grisdale said. “Whether it was outside with my family or friends and I was never a good enough decision maker to choose which one I didn’t want to do. So I was like well, I might as well try to do all of them.”
Jackie has competed in six different sports at Poland — basketball, cross country, track, softball, soccer and also golf the past two years. She’s also a six-time state qualifier across three of those sports and is set to graduate with 20 varsity letters, a new school record at Poland.
“It’s definitely special because there’s been so many good athletes to go through before me,” Grisdale said. “I know since that was my mom’s record (16 varsity letters), it’s kind of just been a household thing. She’s always challenged me to get it.”
On the court, Jackie is a 1,000-point scorer, closing in on the program’s all-time scoring record. She’s also been named Conference and District Player of the Year, as well as 1st Team All State.
“People ask me my favorite moment of sports time and I could never pick,” she said. “There are so many that I can remember that have just been up there at the top and I’m so grateful for that. It wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates carrying me. A lot of teams have made it far.”
In the classroom, Jackie ranks first in her class with a 4.0 GPA and is on track to be valedictorian. She serves as vice president of the National Honor Society and secretary of her class.
Next year, she hopes to play basketball in college and pursue a career in the STEM field, focusing on engineering.
“I’ve always learned that I was kind of about balance,” Grisdale said. “Without athletics, I wouldn’t be as good of a student and without school, I wouldn’t be as good of an athlete. There’s so many lessons that transfer between the two that you wouldn’t necessarily think of.”