COLUMBIA - Nicole Jamison walked excitedly behind home plate Saturday morning at the Rock Bridge softball field. She was excited because she was singing the National Anthem.
Standing tall, with her gaze fixed on the American flag behind left field, Jamison serenaded the crowd with her rendition of the National Anthem.
Jamison, a junior at Rock Bridge, is not only a strong staple in centerfield on the Rock Bridge High School softball team, but she has also been singing the National Anthem at every home game since her freshman year.
With many military connections on the team including parents, siblings, relatives and friends who are serving or who have served, the Rock Bridge softball team takes the National Anthem pretty seriously.
“Her singing adds so much to the game. It is very special to the team, “ head coach, Joe Henderson said.
Jamison singing the National Anthem is usually a home game occurrence, but this past week while playing away at North Calloway, she made an impromptu performance. North Calloway didn’t have the recording that usually plays the National Anthem. Henderson would not play without playing the National Anthem. “I told the North Calloway coach, we have Nicole,” Henderson said.
Good thing singing doesn’t make Jamison as nervous as starting in an important softball game. “I’ve done singing my whole life.” Jamison said.
Singing may come naturally to her, but she wants her softball performance to be perfect. “I’m a perfectionist and when I play softball I want everything to be perfect,” Jamison said.
Jamison sees both softball and singing in her future. Her plan is to play collegiate softball. After college, her dream is to become a singer. Her grandpa has already volunteered to pay for her voice lessons and her plane ticket out to Los Angeles, where she plans to start her singing career. She’s thinking of trying out for American Idol next summer. Even Henderson offers his support.
“I’ll support you,” Henderson said, hiding a chuckle.
Jamison said, “Yeah, when I get a limo. You’ll be the limo driver!” They both erupt in laughter.
All joking aside, Henderson is proud of Jamison’s singing talent. “I feel like a proud papa when she sings,” Henderson beams. He has been coaching for Rock Bridge for four years and has never seen any other player who has sung the National Anthem on any other team in the district.
“It wouldn’t be the same without Nicole,” Henderson said.
Jamison’s singing is not the only important attribute she brings to the team. Today, she exhibited her softball skills when the Bruins advanced to the semi-finals of the tournament they hosted.
The Bruins glided easily past Oak Grove High School Saturday morning 8-4. The Bruins were off to a great start in the semi-final game when Jamison scored the first run by sliding into home against the Lady Liberty Blue Jays.
The Lady Bruins couldn’t pull out a win. They lost to the Blue Jays 4-2. “We had em,” Henderson said shaking his head sadly with his hands on his hips, “We had a couple of errors in the end.”
The Lady Bruins play next on Sept. 11-12 in the Capital City Invitational.