Our next student-athlete highlighted in our Spring Sports Senior Showcase is Jessica Bontempo. Jess has been a positive part of the Softball Team for the past 4 years. She is quiet but she still leads by working hard every day. She was also a key part of the Raiders Cross Country Team that made it to the State Final, the first for a Cardinal Ritter team in an individual sport. Jess has shown to be a very reliable teammate and is always bringing her positive attitude to the field to help her teammates. She starts rallies, she picks up her teammates when they are down and she always has a smile on her face when doing it. This affirming approach to life will serve her well in her future.
Jess’s coaches had some great things to say about her with Coach Heim stating, “I have had the pleasure of coaching Jess for the last 4 years. She started with us having little experience of playing the game. But by her Senior year you could see how much hard work and perseverance pays off. She is one of those athletes that made you love your job coaching.
Every game I could count on Jess leading cheers and getting girls pumped. In my opinion she has always been a leader. That was a big part of her being named team captain this year. I loved the way she would challenge herself and you could see that right at the beginning of practices and workouts. She would always warm-up with 1 of the hardest throwers on the team. And didn’t not back down.
Jess thank you for giving me the opportunity to coach you and thank you for showing everyone what a true teammate means. I look forward to seeing all of the great accomplishments you achieve in your next chapter of life.”
Coach Kluemper said of her, “What can I say about Jess? Jess was always smiling. She was always in a good mood. She was always working to improve. She took every bit of coaching to heart and improved every year.
The first year that Jess played softball was her freshman year. She came to every practice that year and continued to get better. She didn’t get into a game but you could never saw any disappointment from her. She just continued to work.
Jess was the consummate teammate. She was always there cheering and rooting on her teammates. She was always willing to lend a hand throwing to the outfielders or picking up equipment before or after games. And she continued to get better.
Last year she got her first hit. It was apparent how much her teammates loved her by their response to that hit. The team was thrilled to see her success. They appreciated her support and wanted to return the favor. It is a great memory that I was always look back on and smile.
This year Jess was poised to have her best season yet. The team voted her to be a captain. She was working hard to continue to improve and contribute to the team in whatever way was needed. Thank-you Jess. Thanks for all your work. Thanks for your selflessness as a teammate. Thanks for doing all that you could to help the team succeed. Good luck in the future. I know you will do great things.”
Coach Price added, “Jess is the girl that makes your team better without an inning played. She makes the most of each and every opportunity whether from the dugout, batting cage, or outfield. Her contribution to the team goes beyond any stat. She is the ultimate team player. The team’s success is always at the forefront.”
Here is some more about Jess:
Future Plans- Attend Bradley University to study nursing and become a neonatal nurse
Most memorable Cardinal Ritter experiences- Getting ready for games with all of my friends and cheering in the student section and cheering on all my teammates when they go up to bat and the crazy things we do when someone hits a home run.
Jessica stated, “First off, I would like to thank my parents for supporting me in both sports and academics. Second off, I would like to thank Coach Heim, Coach Kluemper, and Coach Price for always believing in me and helping me improve in any way that they could. Lastly, I would like to thank my team for the amazing support and teamwork, as well as the multiple memories we made together. Megan, thank you for the many Starbucks runs before practice and for being one of my best friends. Emma Mckee, thank you for the constant rants, laughs, and crazy car rides. Abby, thank you for always making me laugh and for being a real one. Lauren, thank you for always spreading positivity to the team and making us all laugh. Riley, thank you for always pushing us to do our best and leading the team. Maggie, thank you for the constant laughs and fun times. Emma Hunt, thank you for the fun car rides and the funny conversations from the bench. Kelsey, thank you for your hard work and support on and off the field. Chloe, thank you for doing your best to lead our team and the memories we shared. Finally, Annie, thank you for always being there for me through it all, always supporting me in anything that I do, and for being my best friend. I will for sure miss my fellow seniors the most and I want to thank both Chloe and Annie for being great friends on and off the field and for always making the sport fun to play. I appreciate all of you guys and will miss each and every one of you with all my heart!!”
Thanks for all of your hard work Jess!