Leianna Jimenez playing for Texas A&M International University in Laredo
Playing sports at the next level isn’t an easy task for any high school athlete.
According to the official NCAA website, ncaa.org, the odds of a high schooler playing sports collegiately are typically less than 10 percent. In the sport of girls soccer, the number sits around 7.2 percent. According to a survey conducted during the 2018-19 school year, of the 394,105 girls that played high school soccer, 28,310 went on to play in the NCAA.
It breaks down as follows:
2.4 percent went onto play NCAA Division I, which is the more famous schools like the University of Texas or Texas A&M or schools such as those.
1.9 percent went onto play NCAA Division II, which includes schools such as Angelo State, St. Mary’s and University of Texas-Permian Basin.
2.9 percent went onto play NCAA Division III, which includes schools like Concordia, Hardin-Simmons and Sul Ross State.
One Del Rio High alumnus is finding success at the NCAA Division III level with the Texas A&M International University Dustdevils. Freshman Leianna Jimenez, who initially signed a letter of intent to play with Hardin-Simmons University in February 2020, is seeing significant minutes with the Dustdevils and already has her first game-winning goal, which came in overtime against St. Mary’s University March 10.
According to a report from the official Dustdevils website, the goal came off a free kick when the ball was struck by Valeria Macias into the St. Mary’s box. From there, Vivian Martinez was able to find Jimenez who nailed the goal less than three minutes into overtime.
Though the goal was her only tally of the season thus far, Jimenez has seen action in all six of the Dustdevils’ matches this year. She’s played at least 20 minutes in every match and played a career-high 63 minutes against the University of Texas-Permian Basin on March 17.
Though her final season at Del Rio High was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jimenez still made a big impact. She was named the District 29-6A Offensive Player of the Year. It capped a career in which she was an all-district selection each of her four years with the Queens including being named the district’s Newcomer of the Year in 2017.