March 20, 2024

East Ridge High Girls Soccer Player Cayla Jackson Awarded FHSAA Class 7A Player of the Year

2.8 min read| Published On: March 20th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

East Ridge High Girls Soccer Player Cayla Jackson Awarded FHSAA Class 7A Player of the Year

2.8 min read| Published On: March 20th, 2024|

Congratulations to East Ridge High School senior Cayla Jackson who has been awarded the FHSAA Class 7A Player of the Year. We cannot think of a player who deserves this honor more than Cayla Jackson. The University of Georgia Bulldog commit has been so impressive the past few years at East Ridge High School. Jackson was one of the best soccer players in East Ridge High School history. She averaged 2.3 goals per game, at least 1 assist per game and was a blast to watch this season.

(Cayla Jackson will finish her high school career with 149 goals scored in her 4 years at the high school level.)

Jackson finished her senior year with 36 goals which led the team. She also finished with a team leading 22 assists and 94 points total. These were massive numbers but when you look at her four years with East Ridge High School that’s where the numbers look truly impressive.

In four years at the high school level Jackson scored 149 goals had 79 assists and 377 points total during her four years in high school. Jackson averaged 37.25 goals per season. Those sustained numbers make her one of the best female soccer players in Lake & Sumter County history. Not only is Cayla a fantastic player on the field but she is a role model off the field as well.

(Jackson “Middle holding the trophy” was a pivotal part of the Class 7A District Championship winning East Ridge High School team this year. The team went undefeated in the regular season.)

In the classroom, Cayla has shown exceptional dedication to her studies. She maintains an impressive GPA and will be graduating Summa Cum Laude. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. Cayla has been a member of the US Youth National team pool in the past and has ambitions to make a return to the pool in the future.

Outside of academics, Cayla has actively participated in numerous extracurricular activities, including being the class president both freshman and senior years, a member of the Varsity Club, co-founder and VP of the Spirit Club, a member of the SGA for 4 years and a Blooming in June Tea Rose Debutante (Pink Pearl Foundation – AKA’s).

One of Cayla’s most commendable qualities is her unwavering dedication to community service. She has volunteered extensively for the African American Chamber of Commerce, Boys & Girls Club, Striker Soccer, Heart of Florida United Way, YES-Young Empowered Sisters, West Lakes District, Central Florida Diaper Bank and Peer Buddies to name a few. Cayla has made a significant impact on those she serves. Cayla embodies the values of compassion, empathy, and a strong commitment to making the world a better place.

We are proud to announce that Cayla Jackson has also won Lake & Sumter Style Magazine’s Player of the Year for Lake & Sumter County. She has deserved this honor and this is the first year we are awarding this to a player so we are so happy to announce that this will be an award moving forward each season.

Jackson also appears that she will win the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida Player of the Year although that has not been announced yet. That is a huge honor and the Orlando Sentinel is a very well respected organization who has a long history of giving out awards.

(Cayla Jackson has committed to the University of Georgia and will play in the SEC next year.)

Cayla Jackson recently had the opportunity to play in the FACA All-Star Game which is a post-season game featuring the best players in Central Florida. Jackson actually stole the ball from the keeper and scored a goal in the game. That kind of gritty and tough play is exactly who Cayla Jackson is. If that is indeed her final high school goal, what a way to cap off a terrific career.

Cayla Jackson will now turn her attention to graduation. Not long after that her attention will turn towards The University of Georgia where she will compete in the SEC against some of the best competition in the USA.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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