GRAFTON—For the third time in less than a month, a Grafton High School star athlete has signed their Letter of Intent to continue their career at the collegiate level.
Jacinda Devart, a standout defender for the GHS Lady Bearcats’ soccer team, gave her pledge to Laura Heethuis and the Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets on Thursday in front of family and friends at the Mary Battle Studio at Grafton High School.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to play at the college level and be a part of the Waynesburg
University community,” Devart said. “I visited several colleges and met some great coaches, but Waynesburg just felt like home. Coach Heethuis welcomed me on campus and really took an interest in me not only as a player, but as a person.”
Devart said it was a variety of things that drew her to the university which is about an hour from her hometown of Grafton.
“It has academics and athletics and was the perfect size for me. When I visited there, they were really friendly and kind, and I just fell in love with the team and the coach. I was looking for a small, Christian, liberal arts college that wasn’t far from home. By the time I had my overnight visit, it just felt like home and I am very excited to be a part of the Yellow Jackets’ family. I’m excited to meet new people, get out of town, and try new things.”
Devart, who served as a captain for head coach Lorraine Isner’s Lady Bearcats’ squad this past season, earned 2nd-Team All-State, 1st-Team All-Region, and 2nd-Team All-Big 10 honors, while lettering for a fourth straight year.
She also participated in the North-South All-Star game on November 24th at East-West Stadium in Fairmont as a member of the North squad.
Devart feels like she has plenty to offer her new team, and talked a little bit about what her strengths are on the soccer field and how playing a challenging scheduled has only strengthened her game.
“I’m very aggressive, but in a good way,” Devart stated with a smile. “I’m good at getting back and helping out my team. Playing against different teams in the area with all the different skill sets helped me a lot.”
She also talked about her coach at GHS (Lorraine Isner) and how she has helped her grow in the sport.
“Coach helped me a lot,” Devart explained. “Especially this year. She taught me how to be a leader.”
When asked to elaborate on the importance the senior defender had on her program, Isner was quick to praise Devart for her contributions throughout the years.
“I’m super excited for her to be able to continue playing soccer at the next level. She’s just one of those special ladies that I’ve had the privilege to coach. She battled through a season-ending injury her sophomore year, and the perseverance and the fight that she has just made her a phenomenal athlete to coach, as well as a pleasure to coach.”
Isner also wanted to let everyone know the type of player that Waynesburg can expect when Devart arrives on campus.
“One of the things that I love about Jacinda is the composure that she has on and off the field. When she plays, or the way she conducts herself, she’s just poised and composed, and just a natural leader. We’re going to miss her, but we’re also excited for her.”
Devart, who plans to major in Criminal Justice at Waynesburg, says she is excited to head to Pennsylvania to see what’s in store for her future in the next four years.
“I can’t wait for my next chapter to begin,” she added.