Haddonfield's Jaimie McCormick: South Jersey senior girls' athlete of the year

Jaimie McCormick, South Jersey's senior girl athlete of the year.

Haddonfield’s Jaimie McCormick is a three-time state champion and two-sport athlete. She earned a Colonial Conference scholar athlete award. In addition, she is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society.

Yet her best accomplishment?

“She always has a smile on her face, which I love to see as a coach,” said Caroline Nelson-Nichols, the field hockey coach at Columbia and McCormick’s future coach. “If you can get a young athlete just excited about the opportunity she has in front of her, that is a really easy player to coach and a young woman to help develop.”

Everybody who has dealt with McCormick has marveled at the ease in working with her, other than opponents, who had the frustrating task of defending against her offensive wizardry.

Because of her athletic career, marked by plenty of Ws and accompanying championships, she has been named the Inquirer’s South Jersey senior girl athlete of the year.

The lacrosse team just finished a 21-2 season and won the state Group 2 title, the first in the school’s 10-year history of fielding a team.

“Jaimie comes up big in big games,” lacrosse coach Jessica Blake said.

As an example, when the Bulldogs beat Rumson Fair-Haven, 12-9, in a state Group 2 semifinal, she totaled four goals. Then McCormick followed that with four more goals in Haddonfield’s 18-11 triumph over Sparta in the state final.

“She is a natural athlete, a great kid who does well in school and is a typical overachiever,” Blake said. “She is always pushing herself and working hard.”

McCormick displayed the same characteristics and had the same penchant for scoring in field hockey.

Camera icon William Thomas Cain / For the Inquirer
Haddonfield’s Jaimie McCormick (right) chasing a loose ball with Moorestown’s Julia Darmo during a field hockey game in November.

As a junior, she was one of the leaders of Haddonfield’s Group 2 state-championship team. It was the school’s first field hockey state title in 25 years. Her senior year, the Bulldawgs repeated as state champion.

“Jaimie is just a tough competitor,” Haddonfield field hockey coach Lindsay Kocher said. “She often does a lot of the dirty work. She is very scrappy.”

Then Kocher repeated a familiar refrain.

“She comes up big in big games,” Kocher said.

McCormick came up big in most games. She led Haddonfield’s field hockey team with 32 goals as a senior.

As with many top-flight athletes, she treated her second sport as if it were her first.

“Since this is my final season, I wanted to give lacrosse the best effort I could,” said McCormick, who is one of eight children. “Winning a state title in lacrosse, especially being the first one in school history, was a great way to leave.”

She said among her biggest thrills was playing on the lacrosse team with her sisters, Bridget, a sophomore, and Katie, a freshman. Bridget also played field hockey and scored 30 goals this past season.

“It was great to spend time with them and play competitive sports against other competitive teams,” Jamie said.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Jaimie McCormick (left) defending Moorestown’s Isa Arvelo during a Tournament of Champions lacrosse semifinal earlier this month.

For Jaimie McCormick, it was all about the competition. She never cared if she scored, although she did her share of heavy lifting in that department.

Nelson-Nichols, her next coach and a two-time Olympian in field hockey, said McCormick “will do exceptional things moving to the next level.”

McCormick doesn’t know what to expect. She remembers being an apprehensive freshman, wondering how she would fare on the varsity level of both sports.

She obviously adjusted quickly to the competition, and it was because of her hard work, diligence and athletic ability.

It all added up to a career full of great accomplishments at the highest level. The career she had as a student and an athlete would put a big smile on anybody’s face.

OTHER TOP SENIOR FEMALE ATHLETES

Shakira Dancy, Winslow Township: She led Winslow to another Group 3 state title in track and field, winning the 100 (11.98 seconds) and 200 (24.33) meters and anchoring the 4×100 relay to a first-place finish (47.19). She also took fifth in the 400 (57.46). At the Meet of Champions, she took second in the 200 and fourth in the 100. She is a Florida recruit.

Elaina Hansen, Clearview:  In basketball, she was a 1,000-point scorer who averaged 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds as a senior. In softball, she batted .450 as a senior and finished her career with a school-record 26 home runs. She is a Holy Family recruit for softball.

Robin Panzarella, Moorestown: She wore the famed No. 51 jersey and helped the Quakers back to the top of the mountain, scoring 57 goals with 19 assists for the Group 3 state titlists and Tournament of Champions winners. In soccer, she was a top defender and second-team all-conference selection. She is a Penn recruit for lacrosse.

Olivia Perrone, Eastern: She was a dynamic midfielder who led a young Vikings team that went 24-1-1 and captured the program’s 19th straight state title. She generated 14 goals with 30 assists. She is a Lehigh recruit.

Maggie Wallace, Ocean City: She was the top swimmer in the state after winning the 200 and 500 at the Meet of Champions. She won the 200 in 1:48.75 and beat the field by nearly a lap in capturing the 500 in 4:46.27. She is an Indiana recruit.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

1981: Carol Lewis, Willingboro.

1985: Sharon Ross, Washington Township.

1986: Kerri Hobbs, Lenape.

1987: Cheryl Zekas, Sterling.

1988: Lydia Donley, Moorestown.

1989: Carla Camino, Glassboro.

1990: Chris McGinley, Shawnee.

1991: Erin Garrity, Camden Catholic.

1992: Renee Wilkinson, Bishop Eustace.

1993: Lori Vile, Shawnee.

1994: Jenn Stephenson, Delsea.

1995: Amanda Young, St. James.

1996: Kelly Malinoski, West Deptford.

1997: Cheryl Kulesa, Gloucester Catholic.

1998: Megan Light, Gloucester.

1999: Erica “Boo” Schubert, Delran.

2000: Lindsey McNamara, Bishop Eustace.

2001: Erin Donohue, Haddonfield.

2002: Lori Hillman, Eastern.

2003: Rachel Dawson, Eastern.

2004: Crystal Langhorne, Willingboro.

2005: None selected.

2006: Blair Santaspirit, Moorestown.

2007: Mary Wilks, Bridgeton.

2008: None selected.

2009: Alyssa Ogle, Moorestown.

2010: Genevieve Okoro, Eastern.

2011: Lauren Gaskill, Rancocas Valley.

2012: Steph Toy, Moorestown.

2013: Madison Tiernan, Eastern.

2014: Courtney Norton, Lenape.

2015: Austyn Cuneo, Eastern.

2016: Maddie Morano, Eastern.

2017: Bridget Ruskey, Middle Twp.

2018: Jaimie McCormick, Haddonfield.

NOTE: From 1977-84, the Inquirer honored just one athlete of the year. Since 1985, there have been a boy and a girl winner of the award.