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Clarksville High School’s Jessy Ward says Lady Wildcats expect to make it to and win State Championship

Clarksville High School senior Jessy Ward will play for Mississippi State next year. She takes a moment to speak with James D. Horne of the Clarksville Sports Network.

Clarksville, TN – Life is going pretty good for Clarksville High right now, the Lady Wildcats improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in District 10-AAA play after they beat Northeast High 89-9 this past Friday night at the Eagles Nest.

It’s just one more small step the Clarksville High team is taking towards a hopeful Class 3A state championship, something that senior guard Jessy Ward hopes happens.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do well,” said Ward, who will be going to play at Mississippi State next fall. “We’re expecting to make it there.”

Jessy Ward at Clarksville High Lady Wildcats basketball practice.
Jessy Ward at Clarksville High Lady Wildcats basketball practice.


Ward said finally signing her Letter of Intent last month to go and play for Mississippi State took a lot of pressure off of her, even though she mad her verbal commitment to go and play for the Bulldogs in June.

“It took a lot of pressure off,” Ward said. “We can just concentrate on playing and winning and trying to get back to state. It’s been fun and exciting.”

The Lady Wildcats have advanced to final round of eight the past two seasons only to be knocked out in the first round. They want to do everything they can to end this year’s run with a state championship for a group that has five starters who all will be playing at the Division I level next year.

Jessy Ward at a Clarksville High Lady Wildcats basketball practice with coach Brian Rush watching in the background.
Jessy Ward at a Clarksville High Lady Wildcats basketball practice with coach Brian Rush watching in the background.

Along with Ward going to Mississippi State, center Bashaara Graves is going to Tennessee, Chandler Cooper is going to Florida in the SEC and Tiasha Gray is staying in Clarksville to play for Austin Peay and Tia Nicholson is going to play at Tennessee Tech in the Ohio Valley Conference.

“It would be embarrassing and disappointing if we don’t win it,” Ward said. “We’d just have to move on and get ready to play college play if that happened.”

But the joy of winning the state championship is what Ward thinks about more.

Jessy Ward
Jessy Ward

“It would be exciting and very cool if we won,” she said. “It would be a dream come true.”

It’s not lost on Ward that she is part of something unique having five starters who all will be playing college basketball at the highest levels next year.

“We know it’s special, because this doesn’t happen in Clarksville very often,” Ward said. “We’re just lucky enough to have a lot of talent at this school.”

She also admits that it puts a bigger bull’s-eye on their backs.

“We know we’re going to get everybody’s best game each and every night,” Ward said. “We just have to go out and play our hardest.”

But really she just hopes one thing: “That we play hard and win the championship.”

Three Things people didn’t know about Jessy Ward:

  • She’s a goof ball
  • She hates UT (Tennessee)
  • She loves Twilight

Three Things Jessy Ward likes:

  • Basketball
  • Sports
  • Winning

Three Things Jessy Ward doesn’t like:

  • Losing
  • Snakes
  • Sharks
James D. Horne
James D. Hornehttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com/
James D. Horne began his writing career at the Carrollton Missouri Democrat in 1995, and was the assistant sports editor/writer for the Hammond Louisiana Daily Star for two years.  In 1998, Horne became the Missouri Basketball beat writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune. He joined The Leaf-Chronicle in Oct. 2003 as the lead prep writer and became the Austin Peay beat writer in March of 2005. During his career he won a state association sports writing award at the Daily Star and two while at the Leaf-Chronicle. Originally from Tampa, Florida, Horne earned his B.A in communications from Central Methodist University in Fayette Missouri.
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