Sisters a winning combination for Ponderosa

Column by Jim Benton
Posted 4/24/18

Jensen Ellis is a playmaker for the Ponderosa girls soccer team. She controls the Mustangs’ offense and her precise passes often to lead to goals. Jensen’s younger sister Jazlynn has benefited …

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Sisters a winning combination for Ponderosa

Posted

Jensen Ellis is a playmaker for the Ponderosa girls soccer team.

She controls the Mustangs’ offense and her precise passes often to lead to goals.

Jensen’s younger sister Jazlynn has benefited from her sister’s passing ability and is the team’s leading scorer.

It’s a sister combination that’s been dominating for Ponderosa in the Continental League.

Jensen, a senior who will be attending Wheaton College, leads the league with 12 assists and is third in points with 18. Jazlynn, a sophomore, is the Continental League’s leading goal scorer with 15 and is tops with 31 points.

“I guess you could say I’m a playmaker,” said Jensen. “I kind of look for Jazlynn so it is easy for me. We’re both in the central midfielder so it is really nice. We’ve known each other our whole lives and watching each other play, we kind of know what each other is thinking.

“My sister is a very good player. She chose not to play on the Development Academy so she could play high school with me for my last year. I know where she is moving and she knows how to get open. It doesn’t matter how many players are on her, she’ll get open.”

Players who elect to play on one of the 25 U.S. Girls Development Academy teams are not allowed to play high school soccer. Real Colorado and Colorado Rush are two Colorado clubs that have DA teams.

“With DA for the first year being open to girls I really don’t know what I’m missing,” said Jazlynn. “Next year either way I was going to go developmental, so I wanted to spend this last year playing with Jensen. It’s been a lot of fun. I have no regrets at all.

“I guess I am the goal scorer. I’ve played forward all my life. Jensen played more defensive mid and more defensive positions growing up, so I guess I have more of the attacking, offensive mindset. I tend to be double-manned usually but Jensen knows me well enough that I can move and she can find me.”

Ponderosa, a 4A school ranked third in the CHSAANow.com poll, plays in the 5A Continental League is in contention for the league title and the Ellis sisters are ready for the challenge that will be provided by state tournament teams.

Jensen and Jazlynn couldn’t play club together because of the age different but found ways to play on the same indoor 3-v-3 and 5-v-5 teams.

“We were always competitive,” said Jazlynn. “Not just soccer but everything. Individually when we go against each other, we’re super competitive. There were many tears after losses. The medals we won were shined and put on the walls. Winning is important to us and we think we can do it this high school season.”

Jensen also has sensed a special feeling about this season’s Ponderosa team.

“We’ve really connected well,” she said. “It’s like no other high school year I’ve played. It’s been so fun.”

Terry leaving Vista for family reasons

Mountain Vista assistant principal and athletic director Shawn Terry is leaving because of family reasons. He has accepted a job as assistant principal and athletic director at Rocky Mountain in Fort Collins.

Terry was driving two hours a day to Mountain Vista from his home in Loveland. He had planned to purchase a house in Highlands Ranch when he moved from Northridge High School in Greeley to Vista.

However, his daughter Payton developed a rare and painful nerve syndrome called CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). All her doctors are in northern Colorado, although she went to three specialists once a week at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

The CRPS is in remission but last fall the symptoms came back.

“She will have this the rest of her life but the stress of the move could start us back to square one,” said Terry. “My daughter loves her school and friends and I do not want to risk that with her. I absolutely love Mountain Vista and everyone here but I took a job 10 minutes from my home.”

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