Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Jayda Harris-Amete: Job’s not finished

Daryl Peterson
Jayda Harris-Amete kill attempt against El Camino on Oct. 27.

Andrew Harris and Tiffany Amete are both former Falcons and 20 years later Jayda Harris-Amete decided to follow the footsteps of her parents and play for the Cerritos College volleyball team to carry on the legacy her family left behind.

“I mean my mom’s picture is literally in the gym, the 2001 state basketball conference champion, my dad played football here, uncle played football here, my cousin just graduated last year,” Harris-Amete explained. “It’s literally my whole family, it’s like a Falcons bloodline we built here.”

Jayda’s start to her volleyball career is a bit different than the usual origin stories you hear.

She began playing volleyball at a competitive level during her sophomore year of high school, but simply out of curiosity.

“I started playing volleyball competitively in my sophomore year, but it was simply just for fun, I didn’t plan on playing after high school,” Harris-Amete said.

“I played soccer my whole life and after my freshman year I was like, ‘Let me play volleyball because why not’”, Harris-Amete explained.

The person responsible for allowing Jayda to play was her former high school coach Linda Reich who is a former coach at Cerritos.

“I shout out my high school coach because she gave me the opportunity to play, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be playing,” said Harris-Amete. “I was on the JV tryout squad just cause and she was like, ‘yeah you’re gonna play’, and ever since then I’ve never stopped,” said Harris-Amete.

Jayda played her first season of college volleyball at Cerritos (2021-22) but after her first season, she decided to join Long Beach City College.

While at LBCC she spent the whole season as a red shirt due to eligibility issues and after one season she decided to come back to play for the Falcons.

“I just felt like I didn’t fit there, it didn’t feel right to me like, I’m a Falcon for life”, said Harris-Amete.

Culture plays a huge role in somebody’s identity, it contributes to how people see themselves and the group with which they identify, and Jayda represents the culture of Samoa.

“It means everything to me, my family, and my culture is so supportive. The least I can do for them is do good on the court and give back to them,” Harris-Amete explained

The Samoan culture is one of the most respected cultures in the world, the people can make others smile effortlessly and one’s family is viewed as a vital part of someone’s life and it is no different for Jayda.

She has four siblings named, Audrie, Jaylon, Kira, and Nalah, she shares a close relationship with all four of them and is the oldest of the group.

“I have a really close bond with them, like I’m really supportive of them like Kirah and Nalah wanna play volleyball because they see me play so that’s why I always try to coach them and that’s why we’re so close, I always take them to practice, bring them home from practice,” said Harris-Amete.

“When we were all younger we fought, we fought a lot but like that’s normal for kids that close to each other but at the end of the day it was all love like when we got older and more mature it was more of, ‘you wanna get starbucks’, it’s like that’s my dog right there,” said Harris-Amete.

Being the oldest sibling Jayda understands the responsibility she takes on being the oldest of four younger siblings.

“A lot of the responsibility comes from being the oldest, and I take on a lot of that especially that my dad and my brother live in Vegas so I take on a little more of a role than just an older sister,” Harris-Amete explained.

“But I honestly don’t mind because it could be overbearing sometimes but I love it and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Harris-Amete.

At 20 years-old Jayda has come across many challenges in life but her biggest so far was during her years in high school.

She views herself as a stubborn kid back then but as she’s gotten older she’s changed her ways and now sees her younger siblings experiencing some of the challenges she went through while she was their age.

“I was a stubborn kid but I was a good kid, my mom is the reason why I learned lessons the hard way but it made me better and the person I am today because I can have that communication with my mom and my family now that I’m older,” said Harris-Amete.

“My sisters are going through some stuff that I went through within school and family and all that stuff, I could use my experience I’ve been through and tell them how I went through it and how I went through if it was a bad experience so they could do it a different way and have a better outcome then I did”, said Harris-Amete.

When it comes to volleyball her biggest challenge she faces is the mental aspect of the sport, because she wants to be able to perfect her craft.

“I’m so hard on myself so I always wanna be a perfectionist in what I do especially if I have love and passion for it, so if I’m hitting a ball 12 feet out the court I’m literally cussing myself out,” said Harris-Amete.

“But even if I shank a ball, if I don’t pass it perfectly, that’s just how I think everything has to be perfect, I’m just mentally tough of myself,” said Harris-Amete.

With this mindset, Jayda has come with an inspiration in her life and that is one of the most mentally tough athletes ever and one of the greatest basketball players of all time Kobe Bryant. She admires the way Bryant speaks about the game itself and tries to embody the infamous mamba mentality.

“The way he talks about the game, his passion about the game, the way he works so hard I look up to that so much because I wanna be the best I can be,” Harris-Amete explained.

“It doesn’t have to be better than everyone else, I just wanna be my full potential and that’s how he was,” said Harris-Amete.

As Jayda is approaching her final stretch at Cerritos, she thanks her team who supported her through this entire journey.

“Thank you, thank you for encouraging me, thank you for helping me, thank you for making me better than I was”, said Harris-Amete.

“I love this place, this is why I came back, it’s why I decided to come here in the first place, this place is awesome, they’ve welcomed me with open arms and never anything less.”

“So thank you, Coach Kari, thank you, Coach Mo, thank you to everyone who’s supported me the last two years cause….. job’s not finished,” Harris-Amete exclaimed.

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About the Contributor
Michael Delgado, Sports Editor
Michael Delgado is the Co-Sports Editor for Talon. He is a huge fan of Hip-Hop and enjoys watching YouTube. He loves watching the NFL and NBA and plans to start a podcast in the near future.
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