Competing is a staple of the Jeffers household.
Puyallup High School senior Braylie Jeffers is a rare three-sport athlete — volleyball, basketball and track — and she’s started at middle hitter for the Vikings’ volleyball team since her sophomore season.
Not playing sports wasn’t an option as Jeffers grew up. Her dad, Gary, has coached football since he’s been an adult, and he’s currently the head coach of the Vikings’ football team.
“My dad has always been a football coach, and my mom used to be a volleyball player and coach,” said Jeffers, who has been involved in athletics since she was 4. “Growing up around sports and just being really competitive is what our family does. It’s always a competition at our house to see who is going to win.”
Jeffers has three sisters — two older, one younger — and they’re always competing.
Puyallup head volleyball coach Tony Batinovich said Jeffers’ competitive streak is noticeable.
“Braylie just brings a massive amount of energy to the court,” Batinovich said. “She is probably arguably one of the most explosive athletes I have seen at Puyallup High School in my 22 years here. She is quick, she is aggressive and just keeps us pumped up and keeps our momentum going. That is something that is intangible and is something you don’t coach. She came to the team with that, and I didn’t help her with that at all. The enthusiasm she has is great.”
Jeffers, who earned second-team all-South Puget Sound League honors as a middle hitter last year, wants to see her team reach the Class 4A state tournament for the third consecutive year.
“It would be nice to do it three years in a row,” she said. “We have a great coach who has been coaching for many years. He has led so many teams to the state tournament. We don’t always agree on everything all the time, but he knows what he is talking about and is a Hall of Fame coach.”
Jeffers is battling a strained right quadriceps that she injured during a track meet last spring. It hasn’t been the same since.
“It has been acting up again lately,” she said. “I have just been icing it and working it out. Hopefully it won’t get hurt any further throughout the season.
“I hurt it originally while I was running a hurdles race in the snow, and it got all messed up,” she said. “I’m just trying to work through it.”
Batinovich isn’t surprised Jeffers is willing to do what it takes to stay on the court.
“Braylie is a throwback kind of kid,” he said. “When is the last time in any of the schools that you have a three-sport athlete who is an all-league player in all of their sports? You don’t see a lot of kids compete in three sports, and you don’t see them at compete at such a high level.
“She is definitely a throwback to the good ol’ days. We’re happy we have her on the team.”