Jackson on MHSAA Student Leadership Committee
South Pike senior Alexandria Jackson, the 4A state champion in the 800-meter dash and a point guard on the girls basketball team with a 4.0 GPA, was selected to the 2016-17 Mississippi High School Activities Association Student Leadership Committee for her efforts as a student-athlete.
Jackson (5 feet, 2 inches, 100 pounds) finished with a 2:25 in the 800-meter dash, while most of her contributions for the Lady Eagles’ basketball team come on the defensive end and has averaged close to a steal per game the past couple of years.
First-year South Pike head basketball coach Hilton Harrell nominated Jackson to be on the leadership committee. There are 18 students on the leadership committee, but Jackson is the only one from Southwest Mississippi.
“It’s great,” Jackson said. “I like helping people, talking. I like doing all that. My coach told me about it, and I was excited.”
The South Pike head coach was impressed with the way Jackson conducts herself.
“We just kind of looked at her leadership skills and how she carried herself,” Harrell said. “As a high school student, she was an athlete and very professional. That’s the kind of things I know that could that carry over to the next level whatever your determination, your vision is for life. This was a great opportunity for her to get some more exposure, more experience at being a leader. I think definitely one day she’s going to be that way, not that all of our students are not heading that way, but she kind of stands out when it came to this.”
The MHSAA Student Leadership Committee meets monthly in Clinton, sets up leadership conferences, helps with Special Olympics and other activities. The committee is putting together a leadership conference with seminars, speakers and other events for athletes throughout the state at the Jackson Convention Complex March 22.
Jackson said she has always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
“If someone is struggling with homework or something, I try to help them in that way, or if they’re dealing with something mentally, I try to get them encouraging words to keep going,” she said. “Smile. Don’t let nobody hinder you from doing what you want to do.”
While Jackson has her hands full with the MHSAA Leadership Committee, she has not forgotten her responsibilities as a student-athlete.
The Lady Eagles won the regular-season Region 6-4A championship last year and were three games away from a state title in 2014-15. This year, Jackson believes South Pike has what it takes to go all the way.
“Our girls, we’ve talked about it and we mainly have our mindset of what we’re going to do because we always fell short in the past,” she said. “We’ve really got that drive where we want it this year. We encourage each other. We send each other motivational stuff. We work hard in practice.”
Jackson said Harrell has already made a difference in the program as the head coach.
“I’m really excited to have Coach Harrell as our coach,” Jackson said. “He encourages us. He’s very fun while doing hard work. He motivates us to get ready.”
Jackson expressed similar sentiments about her commitment to excel in the classroom.
“I’m shooting for valedictorian. I have a little competition,” Jackson said, adding she is competing with about five individuals for the highest academic honor in her graduating class.
Jackson plans to major in sports medicine in college and said, right now, she is leaning toward attending Ole Miss.
“I just watch all the trainers and stuff, and it seems fun,” she said. “I like sports, so it will be amazing to be around people being around sports.”
Jackson said she wants to work with professional athletes, live outside of Mississippi and do a lot of traveling.
Jackson is the daughter of Cornelius Dickerson of Magnolia and Latanya Ard of Tylertown.
October 25, 2016 Enterprise-Journal