Scholar Athlete of the Month: Jaime Cardello Proves the Power of Positive Thinking

Jaime Cardello is a senior at Walter Panas High School where she’s the starting catcher on the softball team. Jamie has committed to play Division 3 softball this fall at Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham in New Jersey.   

Jaime has been a softball starter for four years, including as team captain. She made All-League four years, and played on Section 1 and Regional championship squads. She also has captained the Tennis team, where she was All-League two years in a row. She has played club softball for NY Nighthawks. 

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In other activities, she has been part of the Panas Players theater troupe and the Buddy Program. For the Child Development program at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, she interned at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School. She has been a counselor at Camp Nabby and has logged hundreds of community service hours. 

Walter Panas Varsity Softball Coach Mike Dillon says, “I have known Jaime since she was in 6th grade. It has been a pleasure to see her grow up into such an amazing young woman. She is not only a great softball player, but a well-rounded individual.”  

Jaime Cardello Q+A 

River Journal North > At what age did you start playing sports?
Jaime > I started softball at 6 years old in Cortlandt Little League 

RJN > How do you motivate yourself?  

‘If I have been struggling for awhile on a mechanic of hitting or fielding, I practice until I get rid of that bad habit.’

Jaime > As a captain, my teammates’ feedback and the way they hang on to every word I say keeps me pushing myself harder every day.  

RJN > How do you manage your time?  

Jaime > I make a checklist of things I have to do throughout my day. When I get overwhelmed, I communicate with my teachers and family to let them know, so we can figure out a solution that works for all of us.  

RJN > What is the most rewarding part of athletics for you?  

Jaime > If I have been struggling for a while on a mechanic of hitting or fielding, I practice until I finally get rid of that bad habit. This makes my parents and teammates happy for me.  

RJN > Who has inspired you?  

Jaime > The people who have inspired me most are Coach Chelsea Lisikatos, Coach Sam Lisikatos, Coach Nick Lisikatos, and of course my mom and dad Ellen and Jim Cardello. The coaches have pushed me in the most positive and welcoming environment. Without my parents being my number one supporters, taking me to practice and games, spending money on hotel rooms and flights, I would not be the player that I am today.  

RJN > What is your most satisfying single achievement?  

Jaime > My freshman year of high school, being ranked as underdogs by Lohud Softball and having a States run.  

RJN > How would you describe your experience as a student-athlete in one sentence?  

Jaime > A roller coaster of emotions that involved losing a year of softball due to Covid that led me to practicing hitting into a net in my basement to get ready for the next year.  

RJN > Any other thoughts?  

Jaime > As an athlete whose core recruiting years were during quarantine, I would never give up. There is always a way. I was in my basement and backyard recording videos and posting them on Twitter and Instagram, as well as emailing them out. There is always a way to stay positive and never give up.  

 

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