Hinckley-Big Rock junior Jacqueline Madden wasn’t just a three-sport athlete – she excelled in volleyball, basketball and soccer.
The junior was a major contributor to each varsity team, and for her efforts has been named the 2014 Daily Chronicle Female Athlete of the Year.
Royals girls basketball coach Greg Burks said the school’s athletic programs cannot exist without players like Madden. H-BR has a total enrollment of 226 students, and three-sport athletes are essential for programs’ success.
“She is the kind of athlete we need at Hinckley-Big Rock,” Burks said. “I put a lot of stock in our kids that play multiple sports and three-sport athletes. Without those athletes at H-BR and other small schools, you don’t have programs.”
Madden prides herself on her hustle and activity in each sport. The junior will keep pushing hard, even when the Royals are behind in a game.
“I try to be aggressive in all of the sports I play, and I always like to be active,” Madden said. “With that attitude and when we are down, I like to keep the momentum up, and that is what I pride myself on.”
That aggressiveness showed throughout this prep season. It was even more evident in basketball, where she finished the season with 4.3 steals a game to go along with 11.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the sectional champion Royals.
Burks said Madden learned these traits as a point guard from the point guards who came before her in the Royals’ program. Madden was a Daily Chronicle First Team selection, and was a big reason why H-BR won the Class 1A Harvest Christian Academy Sectional, and were three points shy from going to state in a 36-33 loss to Eastland in the DeKalb Super-Sectional.
“Those are values that, as a coach, I try to instill,” Burks said. “Regardless of your talent level and what your team brings to the table, you can be a smart player and try to outwork the other team across from you.”
Madden said this past basketball season was one of the best she has ever had.
“The postseason was unreal,” Madden said. “We didn’t think we were going to make it that far but we kept sticking it out. We made it to super-sectionals and probably could have made it to state.”
The soccer team reached the regional final match.
Madden finished the soccer campaign with a very respectable 15 goals and seven assists.
In terms of the future, Madden expects to do what she does every season to get ready for the next, which is playing basketball and volleyball over the summer.
One thing Madden was proud of this season was that this would be the last season she would play with the Class of 2014. Madden said they were really close and that she was happy to have success with them.