WHEELING - Jackie McDermott is a record-setter.
The Linsly School Class of 2014 graduate was the first player in school history to lead the Cadets to four straight OVAC tennis team titles. Individually, McDermott set school records with a 54-3 four-year OVAC singles record, highlighted by two OVAC titles and two runner-up finishes. In doubles, she won an OVAC title at the No. 1 position with her sister, Morgan, who plays collegiately at Wittenberg University, along with two runner-up finishes. She was a four-time All-OVAC honoree in both singles and doubles, and was a three-time Linsly MVP honoree.
"My parents always say that I've been playing for as long as I could walk and hold a racket," said McDermott, whose Linsly roots run deep as generations of her family have resided in Wheeling and attended the school.
She began playing tennis competitively around age 7 and thanks her parents for driving her to many out-of-state competitions. McDermott enjoys the individual and team aspects of the sport.
Already, the Oberlin College-bound student has spoken with her future teammates as they individually prepare for their time as a team in the upcoming school year.
"It's individual work for the good of the team," McDermott said about being motivated to work hard.
While McDermott continues her tennis career at Oberlin, she also will explore which of her social science interests - possibly politics - to pursue. She is one of a limited number of students to receive the John F. Oberlin Scholarship for academic achievement, not surprising considering McDermott graduated in the top five of her class.
More than anything, McDermott believes tennis has taught her to enjoy the competition, and focus her efforts where her passions lie.
Off the court, that has translated to extracurriculars including forensics, theater and a passion for newspaper writing and editing while at Linsly. Additionally, she has volunteered her time at events such as Every Child a Swimmer through Key Club, during which she taught children how to swim. Recently, McDermott was selected to be a member of the operations staff for the 2014 Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference for the State of West Virginia.
As she enters the next stage of her academic career and steps foot onto a new tennis court, McDermott credits Linsly's small-school environment and caring faculty as significant to nurturing her wide range of interests.