Favorite athlete: Taonga Mbambo
Favorite team: Eagles
Favorite memory competing in sports: Beating Pennsbury in penalty kicks to go to the state tournament my freshman year
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: I went up for a header in a game but completely missed the ball and hit the girl's head in front of me. Immediately after, a huge bump formed on my forehead. The bump was there for two days and left a bruise.
Music on playlist: Taylor Swift
Future plans: Attend Thomas Jefferson University while playing soccer and majoring in nursing
Words to live by: "The only easy day was yesterday"
One goal before turning 30: To become a pediatric nurse
One thing people don’t know about me: My favorite food is chicken fingers
By Mary Jane Souder
Jamie Webb is a player’s captain if ever there was one.
With her soccer team’s Senior Night on the horizon this fall, the North Penn senior recognized that there could be a potential problem on a squad with 12 seniors but only 11 starting spots.
The Knights’ two-year captain came up with a solution.
“Obviously, everyone knows how important Senior Night is for all the girls,” NP soccer coach Mike Rio said. “As a captain and four-year player, Jamie came up to me 2-3 weeks before Senior Night and said, ‘Hey, Rio, it’s okay if I don’t start Senior Night, so all my (senior) teammates can start.’
“That is not something that’s easy to do for anybody. We all know how important Senior Night is, and to be that selfless and let her teammates take the spotlight shows what kind of person, player and teammate she is.”
For her part, Webb didn’t give it a second thought.
“I’ve been on varsity all four years, and since sophomore year, I started,” the senior captain said. “I figured out in my head who wasn’t starting position-wise, and I knew that person would be really upset because they haven’t played that much all year or the past couple of seasons. I’ve had my time to shine and start, and I wanted to give someone else that time.”
Webb’s positive style of leadership has never been more important than during the Knights’ 1-8 start to the season this fall.
“I try and tell everybody – ‘good job,’ and then the bench starts cheering us on, which helps a lot,” she said. “I try to pick up my teammates by giving them compliments like – ‘Oh, good play,’ so they know they’re doing good stuff, and they’re not getting down on themselves.”
North Penn finished its season strong with a record of 6-2-1 in its final nine games.
“We lost a lot of games, more than we wanted, but it was still a great year,” Webb said. “It was one of my favorite years.
“All the girls were super close, there was never any fighting on the team. Everybody was so close this year. There were a lot of seniors, which was fun, because it was our final year together. All of us played since freshman year. We all knew each other in middle school too, and a lot of us play club together.”
The players also spent time together off the field, which helped build the team’s chemistry.
“We had pasta parties for every away game which is always a lot of fun,” Webb aid. “The pasta parties were at the seniors’ houses. We would go out to get food a lot after practices. We also go to the boys’ soccer games when we can.”
Webb has been playing soccer for as long as she can remember, and sports were always a part of her family’s life. Her older sister played soccer before turning to track, and her father played softball and competed in track. Webb played some softball but opted to walk away in sixth grade. She also competed in track as a freshman and sophomore.
Soccer was always the clear choice for Webb.
“I just liked the competitiveness of it and the team atmosphere of it,” she said. “Track Is such an individual sport, and I just loved playing on a team.
“Even if you get down, there’s always a chance to come back and win the game.”
Webb began playing intramural soccer when she was three or four years old for Lenape Valley. She competed in club soccer for PA Rush out of Doylestown before moving to Warrington FC United.
As a freshman, Webb earned a spot on North Penn’s varsity.
“I think all coaches can probably relate – that first day of practice you’re always hoping there’s someone new, someone you haven’t seen that steps up and (stands) out, and that’s what it was with Jamie her first tryout freshman year,” Rio said. “Within 30 minutes I was like, ‘That girl’s a varsity player.’”
Webb did not disappoint, although she admits it was initially a bit intimidating.
“At first, it was really nerveracking, but the girls were so welcoming,” she said. “They really helped me fit in and showed me that I belonged.”
That season turned out to be a memorable one. The Knights – seeded 13th entering the District 1 4A Tournament, finished fourth and advanced to the state tournament.
“When we first started that year, if you would have told us we were going to states, we would not have believed you,” Webb said. “It was like a switch flipped halfway through the season, and we just went on a crazy winning streak. Just the mindset of the team changed, and we made it so far.”
The team lost a significant number of seniors from that squad and struggled during the 2020 abbreviated COVID season, which also took its toll on the recruiting process for Webb’s class.
“It definitely pushed a lot back because normally you start getting recruited freshman and sophomore year, but the years ahead of us were so far behind that they were still on those classes, so they barely looked at the 2023s until junior year, which is crazy late,” Webb said. “It was really stressful because every (club team) tournament you’re going to, it was like – ‘This is your chance.’”
Webb was one of the fortunate ones and caught the eye of the coach of Thomas Jefferson University her sophomore year. In the end, it came down to Jefferson and West Chester University. She chose Jefferson.
“I went to a couple camps junior year and one final camp this summer, and that’s when I made my decision,” Webb said. “I really liked the coaches, and I like how the campus isn’t super far away because I want my parents to be able to watch my games.
“It’s a nice area. It’s not in the city, but the city’s close, which I like a lot.”
Although Webb’s senior season included it’s struggles, it also had its share of highlights, none more memorable than a 2-0 win over a Central Bucks West squad that advanced to the state tournament.
“The CB West game this year was a big win,” Webb said. “Especially since we lost to them the first game of the season and then came back and beat them on their Senior Night, which was a lot of fun.”
There was also the 3-2 Senior Night win over Central Bucks South, another team that had defeated West in the first go round. And Webb was in the starting lineup since one of the team’s seniors was on vacation and was not at the game.
For Webb, soccer was about a whole lot more than wins and losses.
“Soccer definitely made my high school experience so much better,” she said. “I have met some of my best friends through high school soccer. I like how it keeps me busy and it makes me more involved in the school.”
Off the soccer field, Webb has a course load of honors classes, and she is involved in Special Olympics. She also has club soccer practices two or three nights a week.
“The workload’s pretty hard, but I try and get all my homework done right when I get home from school, so when I go to practice, I don’t have to worry about doing it afterwards and I’m not stressing,” Webb said.
The North Penn senior initially had her sights set on one day becoming a doctor but has chosen to pursue a career in nursing instead.
“My sister went into nursing, and I found that really interesting too,” Webb said. “My aunt’s a pediatric nurse, and I think what she does is super cool, and that’s what I want to do. That inspired me.”
A standout defensive player for the Knights whose accomplishments won’t show up on a score sheet or stat line, the two-year captain was an invaluable member of the team.
“When we were successful as a team, it was because our defense was successful, and she was an anchor back there for us,” Rio said. “Jamie is selfless, and Jefferson is super lucky to not only get such an amazing talent on the soccer field but such an amazing person. She will be sorely missed.”