SRHS sports star looks toward college
By Ashley Shah
EDITOR’S NOTE: Scripps Ranch High School student-athlete Jax Leatherwood entered his senior year looking forward to his final season as quarterback for the football team, but his plan was cut short when he reportedly suffered a season-ending injury to a joint connecting his clavicle to his sternum in the Aug. 19 game against Brawley.
Jax Leatherwood was the starting quarterback for the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) varsity football team, and has played an integral role in transforming more than one sport at the school.
Last football season, the team won both the CIF-San Diego title and the CIF 2-A Football State Championship, which has never happened before for SRHS.
Not only has Leatherwood excelled in football, but he has been a part of the SRHS basketball and volleyball teams for the past three years.
“Last season, our basketball team was able to make it to the CIF championship, and State championship – where we won. Even our volleyball team was able to make it to the State playoffs,” he said.
“I think the most amazing part of winning those championships for the first time has been changing people’s view on boys athletics at this school. People have changed their ideas on what we can do,” Leatherwood said.
Leatherwood and the team were preparing as the football season approached.
“We began lifting and conditioning in July. Our real season started on Aug. 1. We started practicing every day, except Sunday, and we continued conditioning and lifting,” Leatherwood said.
He described the football team’s dynamic this season.
“This is a different team this year. I have not played with a lot of these players. We’ve been taking it step by step, and as the offseason has progressed, I’ve seen a lot of growth from these players,” Leatherwood said.
He was able to see his teammate’s strengths as he worked with several new players.
“I think our biggest strength is how close we are. We’re all like best friends. Our teamwork is great because of how close we are,” he said.
Despite their strengths, there is room for growth in other places.
“I would like to see a boost in everyone’s confidence. When someone messes up, they get really down on themselves. I’ve been working on building up the players. I think we can get there,” he said.
While the regular season ends in October, that will not be the end of Leatherwood’s time in football. He has committed to the University of Nevada to play football. He plans to major in business or marketing.
“I felt at home there. I loved the coaching staff and what the school had to offer,” he said.
He plans to graduate from SRHS early and will be heading to Nevada in January.
“I think it will benefit my game greatly. It will give me a head start, and I feel like it is the best option,” Leatherwood said.
He shared his future aspirations at Nevada in his role as a quarterback,.
“I hope to win a conference championship. When I get my chance to start, I want to be a great leader for the team,” he said.
Alongside his commitment to the University of Nevada, Leatherwood has a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with Sleefs athletic gear.
Leatherwood has been playing football for more than 10 years.
“What keeps my passion going is my competitiveness. I hate to lose no matter what it is, whether that’s playing mini golf with my girlfriend, or football,” he said.
To keep up with Leatherwood, follow him on Instagram @jaxleatherwood, and Twitter @JaxLeatherwood.