Mon, Feb. 24

Jayne's addiction: Softball

Staff photo by Jared Dort

JAYNE Lee had a full plate this summer, but it's not over yet. She'll be running the 11-12 state tournament at Riverfront Park this weekend.

An average week for Lee consists of 76 hours on the job, not including her work around the house.

What Lee is best known for, however, is her involvement in Little League Softball. For the past four years she’s been the LLSB Commissioner. She coaches teams and organizes all the all-star tournaments. On top of that, she serves as the assistant to District 10 Administrator.

That’s a total of seven activities during the week, but it doesn’t stop there. Lee also teaches CPR, umpires games and is preparing to start night school at Ottawa University in Phoenix.

What most people who know Lee personally ask is, “Is Jayne crazy?”

As a matter of fact, yes. She’s consumed by the sport she loves.

It started with Michelle, her daughter who’s now a senior at Mingus, and that could have been the extent of her role — just being a parent. It didn’t stop there. She met other kids who enjoyed playing, and in turn, she enjoyed watching them compete.

That’s what has kept her going, even though she doesn’t have children in the league.

“It started with my kids, then I met a bunch of other kids that I love. I want to make sure they get to play and have someone to be there to encourage them,” Lee said.

Looking at her track record, that’s a true statement. She hasn’t missed one out of both the 9-10 and 11-12 tournaments this summer. In fact, she’s umpired every game.

Her work with Little League is all volunteer.

Although the summer is nearly over, Lee is still not done. This Friday the 11-12 state tournament begins, which is hosted by Cottonwood at Riverfront Park. She put in 31 hours on the field during the 9-10 district tournament, and this week’s event should rival that.

Lee did get a chance to catch-up on some sleep last week, but not much. She kept the score book for the 13-14 baseball tournament. Fortunately, she has two months off from her job at Oak Creek, but that time is more consumed with Little League.

In turn, softball has given back to Lee in more ways than the gratification of seeing player’s progress. Through the sport, she has discovered what she really wants to do — teach. At Ottawa, Lee can get her teaching certificate. Currently, she’s 61 credits short.

That should take a normal student two years to complete, but if you know Lee, she not normal. She plans on getting it done much sooner by taking night classes. Lee had the option of getting a degree in nursing, which would take less time, but that’s not the route she wants to follow.

“I love the kids and love this community. I want to give back whatever I can, and this is my way of doing that,” Lee said. “These kids bring a lot of joy into my life. That’s why I do it.”

Somewhere in all her busyness, Lee still has time to be “mommy”. She’s been to every one of Michelle’s volleyball and basketball games — except the ones played in Chinle and Page — and has only missed a few for softball. Lee also attends every AYSO outing for her son, Bobby.

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