When Your Mom Is Your Coach
Jennifer Davis-King was a standout softball player for the Cedar Hill Lady Longhorns, leading them to their best season ever in 2004. Now, as their head coach, she is striving to lead the team to a revival of that glory.
And her daughter, Jayden King, a freshman, hopes to play a key role in making that happen.
“She has coached me my whole life. We spend countless hours doing softball lessons, driving to practice and to tournaments,” Jayden said.
Jennifer said coaching her daughter at her own alma mater is quite the honor, of course, but that she’s not only her softball coach.
“I have been able to coach her since she was 4 and I will continue to be her coach in softball and life,” Jennifer said.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Jayden said she has not seen footage of her mom when she was a star player, jokingly saying, “I don’t think they had videos back then.”
But Jennifer sees a lot of herself in her daughter, who is already being looked at by several major college programs.
“Absolutely, but she is much better than I was at 15. She has achieved so much more than I have and the sky’s the limit for her college future,” Jennifer said. “She’s had a few inquiries from University of Missouri, Mississippi State, Boston College, UNT, and she has tons of D1 colleges following her on twitter. I’ve always advised Jayden that her potential is limitless, and as long as she stays focused on her goals she will achieve them and many more goals.”
After her success at Cedar Hill, Jennifer went on to play for the University of Texas-El Paso, leading the Lady Miners to a runner-up finish in their conference tournament as a senior.
Jayden led the Lady Longhorns in several categories this season, including batting average (.500), on-base percentage (.519), stolen bases (9) and runs batted in (9), along with tying for the team lead in triples (2). She was also second on the team in home runs (2) and slugging percentage (.760).
Love For the ACC
Jayden said she doesn’t let the college attention be a distraction, and her statistics prove that. She also does not have a favorite team among her courters, she said, but she does love watching the teams in one particular conference.
“I just keep playing and focus on becoming better for my team. I don’t have a favorite team but I love watching all of the games in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference),” she said.
Along with playing for the Lady Longhorns, she hones her skills by playing for the select program Prolific Fastpitch, based out of Pearland (just south of Houston).
“I was able to join this team and add to an already amazing roster. I had one of the highest batting averages this fall, and I am looking forward to playing with my team this summer,” she said.
Keeping It Professional
Jennifer said that while Jayden is indeed a standout, first and foremost she is a player, just like everyone else on the roster. So she is her coach, never a cheering parent (well, maybe on the inside).
“We set some rules at the beginning on me not calling her pet names. I think I’ve done a good job at keeping it professional so far,” Jennifer said. “I am her coach, just like I am to everyone else coach on the team.”
And when it comes to helping rebuild the Cedar Hill program, mom and daughter see one thing as a main goal for Jayden.
“Being a leader on and off the field,” Jennifer said.