Remembering a friend and teammate
As a coach of the Geneva College softball team, it is always my first priority to help prospective student-athletes understand the importance of getting a solid education before ever worrying about the potential of playing softball at the college level. Although Jessica Vojnovich DeMarco graduated from Geneva in 2006, she is still the first person that I mention during a tour of Geneva’s campus with future softball players. What made Jess so special in my eyes and the eyes of the many teammates that she touched during her career? The answer is quite simple. She was one of the hardest workers and most genuine people I had ever met. Whether it was on the field or in the classroom, Jess simply did things the right way.
Jess would spend hours in Geneva’s Science & Engineering Building which of course is par for the course with any Engineering student at Geneva College. Despite all the hours in the classroom and in the lab, she would always have time for her friends and for our softball program. She was a leader by example and had the ability to make her teammates understand what was most important in life.
On the softball field, Jess was one of the most unselfish players I have ever coached. As a four year starter, she played four different positions during her Geneva career. She was a freshman starter on our 2003 team that won 42 games and a conference championship. Never saying a negative word, she simply went about her business the same way she did everything else in her life.
I have received more phone calls and messages in the past two days that I can even count with thoughts and memories of a friend and teammate. It is hard to describe the meaning of team and all the life-long relationships that are built over a short four-year period of time on a college campus. We have nothing but fond memories of Jess and her time at Geneva and with our softball program. She was loved by more people than even she could have ever imagined.
We continue to pray for the Vojnovich family in their tragic loss and we certainly continue to lift up the DeMarco family as we await word on Dan’s condition. Jess’ husband Dan was also a student-athlete at Geneva College as a four-year starter on the Golden Tornadoes’ baseball team. Much like Jess, Dan has left an indelible mark on his friends and teammates and we are prayerful that he makes a full recovery.
We will miss you Jess and just want to say thank-you for all you meant to all of us. We are eternally grateful for you and each of us is a better person for having had you in our lives.
In the past four years, on average, 90% of Geneva students are working or in grad school within six months after graduation.