Janiya Victor has been playing baseball with the boys in the Public League for two years, and for the second consecutive year she is the only girl to receive All-Public League honors.
Victor, a sophomore at Motivation High School who is the starting shortstop for the Bartram boys team, was named to the coaches’ second-team All-Public League in the American Division.
Bartram head coach James Ockimey said he noticed her talents right way when she first tried out for the team.
“She was better than any infielder I had at the time and that I have right now,” Ockimey said. “She swings a pretty good stick. She bats second in the lineup. She’s batted second for two years. She hits the ball well. She hits line drives. She hits in game situations.
“Her fielding is excellent. Her hand-eye coordination is spectacular. In fielding your hand placement is always around the ball, that’s her. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re never apart.”
Victor has played softball, too, but baseball is her first choice.
“I just thought I should be playing baseball instead of softball,” she said. “It was more competition. I always played shortstop. I just like fielding and playing shortstop. I played every position except for catcher.”
Victor, who was born in Philadelphia, credits her success to her brother and father and to years of playing baseball and softball in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, where she lived for 10 years before returning here.
“My brother and my dad helped me,” Victor said. “It was normal for me playing in the islands. It was normal playing on the boys’ team.”
Victor’s athletic talents aren’t limited to baseball and softball. She also plays for the girls’ basketball team at Motivation High School, which Ockimey also coaches.
“She averaged 20 points a game,” he said. “She was our leading scorer for Motivation. She’s been our starting guard since her ninth grade year.”
Victor said she’ll be playing both sports this summer.
“I play baseball in the Hunting Park League. I play for the Indians,” she said. “I play basketball, too. We have a traveling AAU team. We play different teams. We practice at Cobbs Creek Recreation Center.”
Between baseball and basketball, Victor will have a busy summer.