Jackson signs with Mary Hardin-Baylor
Jordan Jackson of Stockdale High School signs his letter of intent April 16 to attend school and play tennis for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. He is joined by (from left) his father and coach, Lester; his mother, Ginger; and Stockdale Athletic Director Josh West.
STOCKDALE -- After years of dedication and hard work, another goal was reached for Stockdale senior Jordan Jackson, as he signed on to attend school and play tennis for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton.
“It was a goal he set for himself,” said Jordan’s father, Stockdale Head Tennis Coach Lester Jackson. “He made this decision, and he worked hard every day.”
Jackson, who has qualified for the state tennis tournament the past three years, said he also considered offers from Louisiana College, Dallas Baptist, and Texas Lutheran University. In the end, it was the visit to the campus in Belton that sold him on Mary Hardin-Baylor.
“I liked the campus and the facilities,” he said. “I also really liked the low student-to-faculty ratio.”
Jackson said he will study kinesiology, and hopes to be a coach, himself, one day. He is looking forward to furthering his education, and is excited about the opportunity to continue playing tennis, and to compete at the next level.
Jackson said he is looking forward to the new experiences ahead of him, but that he will miss Stockdale, and will miss his parents.
“They have given me so much support. I’ll miss having them at every practice, and every game,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
Jackson also gave thanks to Athletic Director Josh West and all of the members of the Stockdale coaching staff.
“They really helped me through this process, as well as four years of athletics,” he said.
He said he also will miss his friends, and the community he has come to love, but understands that’s a temporary tradeoff he has to make. He has made many great memories in Stockdale, and during his high school tennis career.
For Jackson, his most memorable moment was going to state as a sophomore. He recalled how excited he was to be playing at that level, and it has served as motivation for him each year since.
When your father is also your coach, it creates a unique dynamic most coaches and athletes will never know, but for the Jacksons, it was never really an issue. Jordan and Lester both agreed it was easy to keep the coach-athlete relationship separate from the father-son relationship, and agreed both were great.
“I’m grateful to him for always pushing me to work hard every day, but I also felt more relaxed with him there,” Jordan said. “Having him as my coach was calming for me. If things were going bad I could always turn to him and I would know it was going to be OK.”
“I was his coach on the court and his father at home,” Lester said. “It was pretty easy for us to keep them separate.”
Jordan’s mother, Ginger, was excited to see her son sign, and said she was happy with his choice of schools.
“We left the decision up to him, and knew it needed to be his alone,” she said. “I’m really happy for him. He just loves playing tennis.”