Ponca City’s Dereck Jernigan – Blake Shepard Athlete of the Month – Presented by Darren Dyer OK Farm Bureau Insurance

Ponca City High School senior Dereck Jernigan is the goalkeeper for the Wildcats. A position he’s played for a decade. 

“I’ve played soccer for 14 years and I have been a goalkeeper for 10 of those years,” said Jernigan. 

His passion for the game and his teammates is obvious. Jernigan and the rest of the Wildcat team consider each other family. 

“What I love about my team and teammates is the fact that I have a field with 10 other guys that I can call my brothers and no matter what, they have my back,” said Jernigan. “This season was definitely one for the memory book. No, it wasn’t a state bound season, but I was a season full of growth, both physically and spiritually.”

The support the team has received this season helped push them to big wins over Sapulpa, Guthrie, Coweta and Muskogee. 

Jernigan is very involved in activities at Po-Hi. He currently serves as band council President and drum captain. He’s also involved in Student Council, National Honors Society and National Society of High School Scholars. Jernigan was proud to receive the Blake Shepard Award.

“Academics are of the most importance to both me and my family. Having excellent grades is not only encouraged, but in the Jernigan family, it is required,” said Jernigan. “To me, receiving this award means that I get to leave legacy on the Po-Hi varsity soccer team, similarly to the way Blake Shepard left his legacy on our entire school as a whole.”

Jernigan has represented Ponca City as a student-athlete and is proud to have done so on and off the field. 

“What I loved the most about being a student-athlete would be the support I received from both the coaches and teachers. It truly was incredible all around,” said Jernigan. 

After graduation, Jernigan plans to attend school at Oklahoma Baptist University to play soccer while majoring in Bio-Chemistry. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his younger sister and training with a soccer ball at his feet.