POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The Poland girls basketball team is off and running to one of the best starts in the Valley, and senior Jillian Penman has a lot to do with that success.
Head coach Nick Blanch said she’s one of those players you just love to have on your team. Plus, Jillian is a straight-A student, earning her the honor of our Student Athlete of the Week.
“For sports, I know it takes a lot of focus,” said Penman. “Actually, that focus coming from sports helps me focus in the classroom, too.”
Jillian Penman is a quiet, yet confident leader at Poland. She’s the team’s leading rebounder, at 10 boards per game and also a 2-year captain.
“Freshman and sophomore year, I was definitely more on the quiet side, but as a captain, you have to be more vocal,” she said. “So I’ve improved a lot in my communication, and that’s one the key factors for our team this year for basketball is communication.”
The Bulldogs won their first AAC title since 2003 last year. They’ve since followed that up with 8 straight wins to start this season.
“Our ultimate goal is to get past District Finals and hopefully make it to Regionals. I think we can do it, as long as we play our game.”
Jillian is also an All Conference player in volleyball and track. Plus, she leads her class with a 4.0 GPA, and is a member of National Honor Society.
“I try to keep my work for school and work for sports balanced, so I’m not stressed and staying up too late,” said Penman. “It means a ton because I know it’s hard balancing academics with sports. So it’s rare if you get somebody like that.”