There is no bigger honor a high school lacrosse player can earn than to be named All-American.
It takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of skill, among other things, to earn such an accolade.
Well, Jordan Mitchell certainly has the skill. And, when it comes to hard work, it's hard to top her.
Throw in some determination, as well, and you've got an All-American.
Mitchell, a 2017 Tualatin High School graduate, is one of six girls from Oregon tabbed as an All-American.
"That's something that I've wanted since I was a little girl," Mitchell said. "Last year, I was 13th, and they only pick six or seven for All-American. I felt like I was finally getting my due. I'm so happy about it."
The Oregon Chapter, US Lacrosse and the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association recently announced the 2017 US Lacrosse National Girls' High School awards for Oregon. In addition to Mitchell, the other All-Americans from the state were were: Lake Oswego's Lauren Gilbert and Riley Hertford, West Linn's Morgan Finklea, Oregon Episcopal's Catherine Lawliss and Jesuit's Emily Steele.
"The others picked were such great players," Mitchell said. "To be recognized with them is amazing."
The All-American status is awarded to players who exhibit superior skills and techniques, exceptional game sense, good sportsmanship and knowledge of the game of lacrosse. The players were recognized nationally for their lacrosse skills as well as for their leadership and contributions on and off the field. Candidate selection is voted on by the state's 41 varsity lacrosse coaches.
And, following her senior year at Tualatin, Mitchell was likely an obvious choice for an All-American honoree.
As a Timberwolf senior, Mitchell ranked first in the state with 109 goals, 64 assists, 8.65 points-per-game average and 59 caused turnovers. She was second in the state with 100 ground balls and third in draw controls.
In her four-year varsity lacrosse career at Tualatin, Mitchell scored 280 goals and dished out 158 assists.
"It meant so much to me," Mitchell said of her four-year career at Tualatin. "It was a great group of seniors that I went through all of this with. It's a great family, and I'll miss them."
Mitchell was also a first-team All-Northwest Oregon Conference selection all four of her seasons at Tualatin.
"That pushed me to get to the next level," she said.
She also helped push the Tualatin team to also get to the next level.
This past spring, the Timberwolves won the NWOC champion for the first time in school history, going 10-0 in conference games. Tualatin also went 17-3 on the season, reaching the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.
In the quarterfinal at Jesuit, the Wolves trailed by eight goals at halftime, only to rally strong in the second half, before losing by just one.
"It was a really good way to go out," Mitchell said of her senior season at Tualatin. "Losing to Jesuit by just one goal in the quarterfinals was such a big difference from my freshman year, when we won just three games.
"We've had a lot of strength in our youth program. That's really helped. This year, we had some wide-spread talent. We had a lot of good sophomores, and they will keep getting better. I wish I had another year to play with them."
In addition to Mitchell earning first-team all-league honors at an attack position, the Wolves had plenty of other players earn all-NWOC accolades.
Sophomore attacker Lauren Magnuson, sophomore midfielder Avery Games and sophomore defender Alexis Atkinson were all first-team all-conference picks. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Hanson, sophomore defender Skylar Maddox and junior goalie Marley Gilman were all second-team all-conference selections. Senior defender Jordan Maddox and senior attacker Kaytlynn Bridges were both honorable-mention all-conference picks.
As for Mitchell, she's about ready to start the next chapter of her scholastic lacrosse career, as she'll play at the collegiate level at the Savannah College of Arts and Design, located in Savannah, Ga.
"I've communicated with my coach and teammates, and I'm excited to get going," Mitchell said.
Mitchell is one of a class of six freshmen that will join the SCAD squad this season.
"I am pleased to be bringing in such a well-rounded class of artist-athletes," SCAD coach Adrienne Berkland said in a release on the school's web site. "All six of these young women will bring their own set of skills to the team and will help elevate our team to the next level."
Mitchell is already working hard to get ready to play for the Bees.
"I'm working a lot on my endurance," she said. "I'm running six miles a day. I'm really hoping that my next four years will be like the last four years."