Jenna Brown

Claremore's Jenna Brown battles for a loose ball during a game against Bixby in 2018.

Experiencing highs and lows is common in all levels of athletics.

Claremore girls soccer standout Jenna Brown certainly saw both ends of that spectrum.

Brown was a key part of state champion and state runner-up teams in 2016 and 2017, respectively. She also faced a lot of adversity in her four years as a member of the Zebras.

Claremore beat Bishop Kelley 1-0 in overtime in the Class 5A state title game on Brown's golden goal. The Comets got revenge though with a 3-1 victory in 2017.

The Zebras dropped a 1-0 overtime heart breaker at Cascia Hall in the quarterfinals in Brown's junior season and then she battled injury after injury as a senior.

"I started off in October with a right AC joint sprain," Brown said. " I was released for one week and then tore my meniscus in November. I came back in January after working out, doing physical therapy, and getting touches on the ball every chance I had."

The AC is a joint at the top of the shoulder.

It appeared that Brown was finished with any issues, but unfortunately there were further setbacks to come.

Brown suffered a concussion in a car wreck on February 4, rendering her unable to play for three weeks.

"Then in my first game back I sprained my left AC joint in March," Brown said.

Brown missed the remainder of the regular season and the Zebras eventually bowed out in the opening round of the playoffs.

Brown gained a different perspective from her time off the pitch though.

"I was taught many valuable lessons," Brown said. "My mentality has gotten stronger and my tactical skills have improved from watching instead of playing games. I was unable to play in our senior night game and it really got to me. However, I was always there to support my team."

Brown's heroics in the 2016 title tilt might not have come without her OT winner at Cascia Hall in a game that decided the district title late in the regular season.

Claremore won a trio of postseason games at home prior to the championship, defeating Durant (2-0), Casica Hall (4-1) and Piedmont (2-1).

"I had a great high school career," Brown said. I was thankful for every one of my teammates. My freshman year was something I never will take for granted. I was so blessed to be a part of the Claremore Lady Zebras soccer team. We practiced hard and played even harder."

Brown will continue playing soccer as well as majoring in biomedical engineering at Kansas State.

She is hopeful all of her injuries are done and believes she can continue to make a difference both on and off the field.

"I expected to go out with a bang (at Claremore) and exceed all my expectations," Brown said. "Since then I have learned I will do anything to play the game I love. Soccer means a lot more to me than I thought. It has taught me various things from what it means to be a teammate to always working hard and giving it your all."

Claremore coach Ryan Jahn, who was an assistant coach in 2016 before taking over the next year, had high praise for Brown.

"I can't begin to describe how much Jenna Brown means to Claremore Lady Zebra Soccer," Jahn said. "Whenever Jenna stepped on the field, she never gave her team anything less than her best. She made her teammates better and they pushed her to be better as well. She is one of the reasons Claremore has a state championship. Jenna is off to do great things. I am excited for the opportunity to see her at the next level.

“We wish her the best of luck at Kansas State."

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