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High School Extra /News & notes

Remmes is All-America

When Jessica Remmes was 4 years old, her parents set out to find an activity where she, her older sister and her brother could burn up some of their excess energy. They chose soccer, and, in the words of Martin Remmes, his daughter "took to it like a duck to water."

Jessica did more than use up a lot of childish energy with the sport. Monday, the Grand Island senior star was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association/adidas All-America team, one of five New York State athletes to make the 80-girl select team.

She already has been named to the Class A All-New York State first team and is expected to earn her third All-Western New York designation when that team is announced later this month.

Remmes plans to attend James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., a Division I member of the Colonial Athletic Association that has qualified for seven of the last 11 NCAA tournaments. She finished her career at Grand Island with 168 goals and 107 assists, both school records, and led the Vikings to the state final four in the each of the last four seasons.

In summer, Remmes honed her talents for five seasons with the prestigious Rochester Rhinos Juniors, who traveled all over the eastern half of the U.S. for tournaments and captured four New York State championships. As a 13-year-old she was good enough to make the boys travel team in the Grand Island Youth Soccer program. She also played one season with the Buffalo Premiers.

"Jessica just has a lot of natural talent," said Grand Island coach David Bowman. "Her touch on the ball is incredible. She's got great footwork. She's explosive on and off the ball. She's got moves. If she gets into tight quarters, nine times out of 10 she will come out untouched. She has a phenomenal shot that she can put on the net with either foot.

"She's a natural striker. That's the position she was recruited for and they (James Madison) expect her to go there and be an impact player as a freshman."

James Madison won out over Vermont and Rutgers.

"Jessica probably visited 20 or 30 schools, some twice," said Martin Remmes. "James Madison is a beautiful school and over the last 12 years has one of the winningest programs in women's soccer. Jessica also likes that their coach, Dave Lombardo, is a disciplinarian like myself."

Remmes plans to major in sports medicine at JMU.

All 80 of the All-America honorees will be invited to the NSCAA All-America Luncheon on Jan. 21 at the organization's convention in Philadelphia.