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Providence's Kowalewicz shines as three-sport athlete

Staff Photo: John Bohn Jessie Kowalewicz is a three-sport athlete at Providence. Her main sport is softball but she also plays basketball and soccer. Kowalewicz will attend Georgia Tech where she will play softball.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Jessie Kowalewicz is a three-sport athlete at Providence. Her main sport is softball but she also plays basketball and soccer. Kowalewicz will attend Georgia Tech where she will play softball.

THE KOWALEWICZ

Name: Jessie Kowalewicz

School: Providence

Sports: Softball, basketball, soccer

Class: Senior

Favorite sports teams: Atlanta Braves and Georgia Tech

Dream job: Biomedical engineer

Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds

Noteworthy:

-- Signed a softball scholarship with Georgia Tech

-- All-state selection in softball as a shortstop

-- Averaged 11.5 points and 3.5 assists as a point guard on basketball team-- Named captain of the soccer team this season

After Jessie Kowalewicz made a game-winning stop in Providence's soccer win over Wesleyan last year, her teammates ran to the middle of the field to celebrate.

Kowalewicz took off in the other direction, hopped in a car with her parents and drove off.

As a standout softball player, Kowalewicz had to get to a travel tournament. There was no time to celebrate with her teammates, it was time to move on to the next sport.

"It's just going from one place to the other," she said.

That scenario has played out many times for Kowalewicz. As a three-sport athlete, she rarely has an off day from sports. As soon as softball ends, she's on to basketball. Once the final buzzer sounds in basketball, she's off to soccer. It's a busy lifestyle, but one Kowalewicz has grown accustomed to and couldn't imagine any other scenario.

"It would be weird," Kowalewicz said about not playing three sports. "I wouldn't know what to do if I had all that time. I guess I'd be like most kids and hang out with their friends."

Kowalewicz has been a four-year stater at Providence in softball, basketball and soccer. Her main sport is softball, in which the shortstop has signed a scholarship with Georgia Tech.

She always thought she would play basketball in college, but there aren't many 5-foot-6 point guards at the college level.

Soccer takes her out of her comfort zone and allows her to spend time with her best friend Allie Petmacky.

"It just shows you can still play a lot of sports if you're good at it and still go D-I," Providence soccer coach Todd Henry said. "She just works hard and has a great attitude. I think that's part of what carries her and has taken her a long way."

Going from sport to sport has been that way for Kowalewicz since she was a little kid. She started playing baseball when she was 4, went to swimming that summer and played basketball in the winter.

"I just love sports," she said. "Ever since I was little, I did anything and everything I could. It just took off from there. I realized I was talented and God blessed me with that and it took off from there."

By the time she got to high school, Kowalewicz considered giving up soccer. Then Petmacky encouraged her to come out for the soccer team. She made the team and was able to start the second half of a game early in the season. She got a shutout and ever since then she's been starting in goal for the Storm.

"You see a lot of players after one year specialize in one sport and stop, but I couldn't leave the girls," Kowalewicz said. "I just love sports too much. I wouldn't know what to do with down time."

The only problem was the overlapping of sports and her travel softball schedule interfering with soccer. To make sure there was no problems with her coming out for a sport late, Kowalewicz and her mother organized everything with her three coaches and athletic director.

"At a big school, I probably couldn't do it," Kowalewicz said. "Soccer and travel softball kind of conflict, but the coaches are so great they allow me to go from one sport to the next."

It probably doesn't hurt that Kowalewicz is a good athlete, too. She was an all-state selection in softball, was one of the team's leading scorers in basketball and was named captain of the soccer team despite missing the first month.

"It just shows how much the girls look up to her and recognize her as an important part of this team and a leader," Henry said.

Kowalewicz's busy schedule from sport-to-sport will change later this year. When she enrolls at Georgia Tech, she'll be focused on playing for just the softball team. It may create a little bit of down time, but she's sure to find a way to keep busy.

"I'm going to miss it. I love sports, as you can tell," Kowalewicz said. "I'm sure they are going to keep me busy in the weight room. I'm sure Georgia Tech academics is going to keep me busy, too. I'm definitely going to miss it."