The Gazette Preps Field Hockey Peak Performer of the Year: Jordyn Isner, Palmer Ridge

Photo - Jordyn Isner, Palmer Ridge Field Hockey

Jordyn Isner, Palmer Ridge Field Hockey

As a Palmer Ridge field hockey player, nothing comes easy.

The Bears boast a program that regularly advance to the state title game with high-caliber talent. So during her first two seasons at Palmer Ridge, Jordyn Isner mostly contributed after coming off bench.

Still, she finished with six goals last season.

But she knew she could be more and do more.

During the offseason, her dad Nick took her to camps featuring players from the East Coast Field Hockey, where, arguably, the best players in the country train. She held her own, and improved.

That experience helped her grow as a player, both mentally and physically. It also ultimately helped her become The Gazette Field Hockey Peak Performer of the Year.

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The junior forward led the Bears with 23 goals and was second on the team in assists with 11. And when it came down to high pressure situations, she didn't falter.

Against Kent Denver in the state title game, Isner knocked in a score and capitalized on an attempt during a dramatic shootout to help lift the Bears to their first-ever championship.

Jordyn Isner, a field hockey player for Palmer Ridge, is a fall Peak Performer 2017 posed for a portrait at the Gazette studio on Saturday December 9, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

"I was hoping we'd win because we needed to redeem ourselves from last year," she said, referring to coming up empty for the third time since 2012. "I kind of knew I needed to help my team because we lost a lot of powerful seniors."

Coach Paul Lewis remembers a different Jordyn Isner from last season, someone who stepped off the field upset or disappointed when things weren't going her way. She also appeared frustrated after she was bumped around because of her small frame.

"Over the summer, she worked on that and really stepped up," Lewis said.

Like last season, the Bears lost a chunk of their starters before the 2017 campaign, and eight seniors will graduate this season. But no one within the Palmer Ridge program is truly worried.

The Bears always seem to reload.

And they're going to do it next season with Isner as a key returner. She and her father are planning to attend more field hockey camps with East Coast players, in an effort to improve her stick skills and other techniques.

"We're still going to have a good team," Isner said. "But it'll be difficult to readjust to not having all of our players with us."

Nothing comes easy, but that's the life of a Palmer Ridge field hockey player.