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From the "Ouachitonian": Jaymee Dotson

Jaymee DotsonOctober 17, 2022 - Breanna Watson

Many university students begin college life and choose to become involved in something that brings them joy and fulfillment, and this case is no different with soccer player Jaymee Dotson, a senior kinesiology/leisure pre-professional studies major from Princeton, Texas. At the age of six, Dotson developed a deep appreciation for the sport, a passion that continues as she reflected upon God’s plan in bringing her to Ouachita through her devotion to soccer.

“I played other sports, but soccer always stuck with me,” Dotson said.

Her love for the game began at the age that brought tiny cleats and small-scale soccer goals which grew alongside her. As she advanced to play at the high school level, she was presented with the opportunity to enter the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, or DA. Throughout this time, she had been noticed by various D1 colleges who expressed an interest in her and her advanced capabilities in the sport. However, her development as a player would soon be stunted by a circumstance that not even Dotson expected.

“My junior year of high school I broke my leg,” she reflected. She was no longer able to pursue DA and instead played at the high school level for the remainder of her junior and senior years to heal and reevaluate her next steps. Although this devastating injury was not in Jaymee’s plans, it eventually led to her coming to Ouachita where she is convinced that God wanted her all along.

“Me breaking my leg pushed me back and allowed smaller schools to show interest,” Dotson said.

Her positive and compassionate disposition remained untouched even after the injury, and she soon took to encouraging her coach’s daughter who had also suffered from breaking her leg at the height of her soccer career.

“I was able to relate my experience with hers, and it got her through it,” she recounted. “Now she’s their starting goalkeeper.”

Since coming to Ouachita and joining the soccer team, Dotson has been awarded several honors, such as GAC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Great American Conference. Yet, according to Dotson, these wins are not solely based on her efforts.

“My team helps me accomplish everything,” Dotson said. “They make me look good.”

For Dotson, her time at Ouachita will quickly be coming to an end which evokes bittersweet feelings for the college senior. As she considered how soccer will be involved in these next life steps, she expressed her gratitude for the experiences that she has been able to have playing the sport that she cherishes so greatly.

“The Lord just wants me playing,” she said. “I’ve played pretty much my whole life and I feel like that was my calling.”

Photo by Abigail Blankenship

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