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Preps

Soccer more than Pass-ing fancy

Multitalented Jami Pass may be making her biggest mark as a record-setting forward for top-seeded Pasco.

By STEVE LEE
Published January 25, 2004

DADE CITY - A three-sport athlete at Pasco, Jami Pass also plays three instruments in the school band and at her church.

Given the choice of sports or music, however, and there was no hesitation in her response.

"Athletics, definitely," Pass said. "No question at all.

"(Music is) just something to pass the time. I have to be doing something."

Playing volleyball, soccer and softball for the Pirates or the drums, trumpet and bass guitar for bands at school and the First Baptist Church of Dade City keep the indefatigable 17-year-old on the go.

Then there is study time for the college-bound teen who carries a 3.8 GPA. And with church meetings to prepare for her first mission - an April 2-9 trip to Argentina, she said - little time is left for snoozing.

"When I'm not at school (in a classroom, on a field or in the gym), I'm at church," Pass said. "If I'm not at church, I'm sleeping."

Among Pass' myriad activities, there is nothing she favors more than finding the back of a net with a soccer ball. As a sophomore, Pass led the Pirates to their first 14-win season by scoring a school-record 29 goals.

This season, the junior forward surpassed her mark before winter break and heads into this week's Class 3A, District 6 tournament with a county-leading 37 goals.

Not coincidentally, top-seeded Pasco is 12-5-1 and, at 7-0, the district's lone unbeaten team.

"It just kind of blew my mind when I passed it," Pass said of her goal mark, adding that she is determined to go further into the playoffs this season.

Pasco lost the district title game to Land O'Lakes last season before being ousted by Citrus in a region quarterfinal.

"That was disappointing," Pass said. "What's pulling this team right now is we want to go past what we did last year."

Freshman forward Rosala Velasquez has contributed 15 goals, but Pass has shouldered most of the scoring load to compensate for the 2003 graduation of Amanda Newsome and Kayla Bresch, who last season combined for 31 goals.

"Everyone said she was the one to score the goals," said first-year Pasco coach Wardell Powell, who watched Pass score two in the opener, a 3-0 win over Wesley Chapel, after limited practice time due to her volleyball commitment.

Powell's lone concern is keeping Pass from sulking when the team struggles early in games or when she is double-teamed and cannot get her shot off.

"If it is not going her way she gets frustrated, so I've got to constantly motivate her, keep telling her to move," Wardell said.

"Sometimes I get over it and sometimes I don't," Pass said of her onfield mood swings. "I can feel it."

Dropping to midfield and focusing on passing and defense, she said, "pulls me back into the game."

At her best, Pass thrives on quickness and aggressively charging the net. She learned both while playing on boys recreational teams in Dade City before joining competitive girls teams in Temple Terrace.

Lisa Herndon, Pasco's assistant softball coach who attends the same church as Pass, is eager for the student-athlete-musician to return to the diamond. At the same time, Herndon accepts that Pass has other priorities and will do her best to carry the Pirates well into the soccer playoffs.

"She's driven and she's very disciplined," Herndon said. "You only get a couple of those come through once in a while and she's one of them. She takes instruction well. Plus, she's a natural athlete."

[Last modified January 25, 2004, 02:00:57]


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