ANDERSON — It doesn't take long watching Jessie Noone play softball, basketball or volleyball to understand she is not only a gifted athlete, but a confident one as well.
Whether she is stretched out parallel to the ground making a diving catch in center field, digging a ball inches off the floor to keep a rally alive in volleyball or draining a game-winning shot in basketball, she plays with the conviction of her ability bred from years and years of working on those skills.
On Wednesday the Elwood athlete was named the female winner of the 2014 Johnny Wilson Award. She didn't back away from her confident manner after accepting the sculpture as the best three-sport athlete in the area.
"I thought I'd have a pretty good chance to win," said Noone, who will be attending the University of Indianapolis to play softball there. "I was excited (when the announcement was made). It was a reward for all of the hard work I've put in."
Her father Chris, who is also her softball coach, supported her assessment.
"Since she was very little, I knew she could be a good athlete," said Chris. "She could run and jump and kick and throw. When she was seven she was playing against the boys. She just had a knack for playing. She's not the biggest, but she works very hard and pushes herself to be good."
She needed literally no pushing from her family. Yet it was always going to be necessary to pick a favorite to be the summer focus.
"For a while, her first love was basketball," said Chris. "But when she stopped growing, it became obvious that her college choices might be limited in that sport. She had been playing travel ball since she was about nine."