Jaymee Luke is a four-year starter on the girls soccer team in the fall and a sprinter in track and field in the spring.
She also happens to be a star quarterback in the winter for the Cimarron-Memorial flag football team.
Luke, voted the Clark County Player of the Year last year by coaches, will lead the Spartans again in their quest for a second consecutive Clark County School District flag football championship. With 12 of the team’s 14 starters returning, including all seven on offense, it might be a long year for the other schools in the valley.
“There’s no question who the best player in town is,” Cimarron coach Mark Bailey said. “When you have the best player and you have everybody else filling their roles, absolutely, we can win it again. But you’ve still got to win the games … She’s just gifted. The lateral movement, the quickness, the vision. I didn’t teach her how to do it. There’s no way I taught her.”
The 5-foot-2-inch Luke, who totaled almost 6,000 yards of offense last season, led the Spartans to a 19-3 record and CCSD championship after being the catalyst in three come-from-behind-wins in the playoffs.
“When she has the ball in her hands, whether it’s a pass or a run, I trust that she’s going to make stuff happen,” Bailey said. “We know she can get it done with her arm. The running is an added bonus. It’s like Michael Vick in college. You knew he could gun it, but he could also run it. It’s like Randall Cunningham, or any of these running quarterbacks.”
Luke has become the epitome of a dual-threat quarterback in flag football, almost running for as many yards as she passes for. She can punish teams through the air, but will take off running the length of the field when she is blitzed. It has almost become a lose-lose situation for opposing teams.
“Them knowing still doesn’t stop us,” Luke said. “Because we have Logan (DeLong) as our tight end. Even if you are right behind her, she will catch the ball. You can jump just as high as her, and she either catches it or rips it out of your hands. Same with DeShan (Cambrit), who is our wide receiver. You can’t stop them even if you try your hardest.”
Luke, an Arkansas State commit for soccer, was so effective running last season that she was named running back of the year despite not playing the position.
“It’s extremely fun,” Luke said. “And I think we’re better this year than we were last year. We have two new, really good receivers. We will have losses, but it’s not going to stop us from going as far as we can. Nobody could really stop us last year, and we’re doing the same thing.”
One play in particular — in the Sunset Region championship — stands out to Bailey.
“There was a play last year against Centennial where every single defender tried to pull her flag,” he said. “Seven different girls, and she ran for a touchdown just weaving back and forth. You can’t teach people to move their feet like that. She’s the most dynamic player in town.”
Even though Luke will be playing college soccer next season, the senior said she will never forget her time playing flag football.
“It’s just so much fun,” she said. “With all these girls, we have a bond. We have no drama here. Everyone loves each other, and we try our hardest. It’s just crazy how all of us come out and work so hard and want to play it. We can’t go to college for flag football.”
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson.