Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic is proud to announce our spotlight athlete for March 2016…Bonnie Jean Tijerina! This talented young woman is not your average athlete. Bonnie’s story proves that she is a well-rounded individual and an all-star softball player who is striving to come out on top.
The oldest of four children, Bonnie grew up in a close knit family with a history of athleticism. Her father, Webb County Judge, Tano Tijerina, played professional baseball during his early years and was inducted into the Laredo Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
As a child, Bonnie admired her father’s accomplishments in baseball and his passion for sports. It was he who would instill in Bonnie the passion she now has for the game of softball. Bonnie first began started out by playing T-ball at the age of nine. It was evident from the start that she had a natural athletic ability. She has been dominating the softball field since the sixth grade.
Following her newfound interest in softball, Bonnie worked hard to perfect her pitching skills throughout her middle school years. She practiced for hours on end at school and at home. Her hard work would pay off as she transitioned to high school where she would join the United High School softball team as a Varsity player and remain on the Varsity team all four years of her high school athletic career.
Bonnie’s years as a Varsity softball player have earned her several team and individual recognitions. Bonnie earned the 1st Team All District Pitcher award during her sophomore and junior years. Just last season, she and the rest of the United High School softball team placed 2nd in their district competition.
Our featured athlete has fierce determination when it comes to preparing for a game. Hours before a game, Bonnie begins to mentally prepare herself by “getting into the zone,” as she likes to call it. She abides by the same good luck ritual: puts on her headphones to listen to music, carefully adjusts her ankle braces, and organizes herself with the rest of her teammates.
Now a Senior, her last season pitching for the United High School softball team kicked off on February 2, 2016 with their first local game against C.C. Winn at the UISD Student Activity Complex. Bonnie is more than ready to make her last season a momentous one. She has been rigorously preparing by attending all of her practice sessions so that she can succeed on the field.
When she is not pitching for the United High School softball team, Bonnie also serves as 1st and 3rd base on the Gold Team for American Freedom in San Antonio, Texas. Being a part of this esteemed national program has helped in her development as a player and assisted in exposing her athletic abilities to college recruiters.
Her time as an athlete has not come without its struggles. Throughout her four years of high school, Bonnie has suffered several sports related injuries. Both of her ankles have suffered various sprains and injuries, a foot fracture put her on the sidelines for four months, and she also deals with tendonitis. She is thankful for the treatment she received from Dr. John Puig and his staff from Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic that helped her get back in the game.
Bonnie proudly maintains a 3.75 GPA and is ranked in the top 20 percent of her graduating class. Four schools have already scouted Bonnie to play softball on their team: Navarro Junior College, Our Lady of the Lake University, Texas A & M International University, and Laredo Community College. This accomplishment is a strong reflection of Bonnie’s athletic abilities.
In mid-February, Bonnie verbally committed to play for Our Lady of the Lake University’s softball team. She is excited to continue playing softball at the collegiate level and eager to begin this new venture!
When she is not on the softball field, Bonnie also enjoys being an active member of the Future Famers of America (FFA) Organization, where she has been raising sheep and goats since she was in 5th grade. With Bonnie’s father dividing his time between serving as Webb County Judge and avid ranching, she has grown up with a passion for agriculture.
When Bonnie begins attending Our Lady of the Lake University in the Fall, she plans on studying Business Administration. She has her sights set on one day running an agriculture & ranching type of business, though she is still deciding on the dynamics of the business. Being involved in the FFA organization has helped develop her agriculture talents and explore the various agricultural career pathways available.
In addition to her athleticism and passion for agriculture & ranching, Bonnie has taken to modeling. She was most recently featured on the cover of DVINO magazine’s January 2016 edition.
Last month, Bonnie was a debutante in the Society of Martha Washington Colonial Pageant and Ball, one of the most well-known social events in South Texas. She portrayed John Hancock’s wife, Dorothy Quincy Hancock. She wore a dress that her mother and grandmother made together. The dress holds high sentimental value in the Tijerina family because it is the same dress that Bonnie’s mother wore when she took part in the pageant in 1993. Bonnie was more than thrilled that she got to carry on a family tradition.
Blessed with her father’s love of sports and her mother’s grace and beauty, Bonnie is pursuing her new chapter with her own brand of discipline and passion. When asked what advice she would give to other athletes striving for excellence, she says,
“I’d like to tell all athletes to play every game like it is your last and to thank God for the talent he has given you.”
LSMC congratulates and is proud to recognize Bonnie Jean as March’s Spotlight Athlete!