Jamie Alexander, now 5-foot-10, wasn’t always one of the biggest, strongest or most skilled soccer players.
It’s not easy to be all that at 8 years old, going up against players up to three years older.
But when Alexander started competing in her age group, life got a little easier.
It didn’t take long for people to notice.
This season, she had her best year yet, scoring 50 goals as a senior to lead the Augusta Prep girls soccer team to a runner-up finish in the GISA Class AAA state playoffs. Alexander’s huge season makes her The Augusta Chronicle’s girls soccer player of the year.
“This year has been at a whole new level,” Augusta Prep coach Tom Norton said. “She has the capacity to raise everyone’s game around her. And that’s the true sign of a great player.”
The Lady Cavaliers – led by Alexander’s dominance and ability to score with either foot – were unbeaten heading into the state final. They defeated Westminster twice for the region title before losing the third meeting in the state championship.
Westminster claimed the bigger prize with the 1-0 win in the state championship game, but Alexander hopes this season was just the beginning of a more balanced rivalry. Augusta Prep hopes the days of scores of 10-0 are forever in the past.
“We’ve always had a rivalry,” Alexander said. “But now, we’re almost even teams. So where is it going to go from here?”
Alexander will have to see what happens as an alumna, however. She’s signed with Furman to play in college after also looking at Clemson, Georgia Southern and Mercer.
She’s been told by Furman coaches she’ll be placed at forward, but she said she would go anywhere.
At Augusta Prep, Alexander was a forward but also controlled the game at midfield and played in the back if necessary.
No matter where Alexander plays, Norton sees success. Not only is he impressed by Alexander’s ability, but as Georgia Southern’s former coach, Norton knows what it takes to perform at a quality level in the Southern Conference. While he was at Georgia Southern, the Eagles’ Tara Chaisson scored 59 goals and put up 161 points from 1996-99. Both are still conference records.
Even when comparing Alexander to players like Chaisson and those lofty numbers, Norton expects success.
“I think she’ll be fantastic,” Norton said. “She’s the kind of player you build a team around.”