Athlete of the Month: Stealing makes Jaelle Judkins one of DSU’s most wanted

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Talent isn’t the only thing that caught the eye of Dixie State University fans as Jaelle Judkins rightfully earned the Athlete of the Month award with her outstanding attitude for life.

The senior outfielder, an elementary education major from St. George, has had a career to remember at DSU. Head coach Randy Simkins said she’s a player who sets the tone each game.

“She sets the table for us,” Simkins said. “If she gets on, we’re able to steal bases, we’re able to hit and run, and we’re able to score runs early. That really changes the complexion of the game. If she doesn’t get on, then it’s a little harder for us to do what we like to do.”

But her talent as a player isn’t the only thing that sets her apart from the others.

“She’s a great person, and she’s giving and caring,” said second baseman Nicole Chavez, a sophomore integrated studies major from Chino Hills, Calif. “She’s someone you can look up to.”

Chavez said Judkins is someone who picks up the slack of the team.

“When someone’s down or someone doesn’t get a hit, and she’s up to bat next, she’ll get that hit,” Chavez said. “She’ll make up for something, and that’s what I love about Jaelle.”

Simkins said Judkins has an incredible smile that no one will forget.

“She has the biggest smile on the planet,” Simkins said. “Her smile and attitude are just extremely contagious. People that don’t know her are instantly her friends. She makes friends faster and easier than anybody I’ve ever met.”

Chavez said she is easily defined as a “goofball.”

“We were in California a couple weeks ago, and she got dressed really fast because coach got pizza,” Chavez said. “We were all hurrying. We got to her room, and her shorts were on backwards. We’re just like, ‘Really, Jae?’”

Chavez also said Judkins has a habit that most players give her a hard time about.

“Whenever she does something wrong, she always smiles and pats her forehead with her hand,” Chavez said. “It’s just so funny.”

Chavez said she is sad this is their last year playing together.

Simkins also said he is going to miss having Judkins on the team.

“The passion, energy and enthusiasm that she plays the game with is going to be almost impossible to replace,” Simkins said. “I’ve been really, really blessed as a coach to have her at the top of my line-up for six years.”