Jordi Harre answers to the name “Junior,” a nickname given to her by her father, longtime Nashville High coach Wayne Harre.
And just like her father, Junior Harre is a little bit of a throwback to a time when high school athletes played whatever sport was in season rather than specializing in one hoping to earn a scholarship.
Harre is a four-year starter in softball and volleyball and a three-year starter in basketball. She’s not just playing three sports, she’s been a News-Democrat All-Area pick and All-Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference selection in all of them.
“I think it really helped me develop as a player,” said the 5-foot-5 Harre. “It’s good to play one sport, but I really think you develop so much more as an athlete by playing three. Going from volleyball to basketball I get so much stronger and in softball I get faster. You’re not just doing one sport and I never get burned out.”
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Currently hitting .522 in the softball leadoff spot for Nashville, Harre also has 20 RBIs, 50 stolen bases and 48 runs scored. She’s a threat to score every time she walks into the batter’s box — yet hasn’t played in a travel softball league since she was in high school.
“I haven’t played summer softball since eighth grade year since I was so burned out on it,” Harre said.
Harre originally signed with Kaskaskia College to play volleyball but that decision may change. She said she is contemplating playing all three sports in college, another extreme rarity.
Well, not really. Harre’s mother, Cheryl Harre, played basketball, softball and tennis at Kaskaskia and Wayne Harre was a talented athlete at Nashville who played basketball at Kaskaskia and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
“They did say it would be possible for me to do all three, so I’m thinking about it,” Jordi Harre said.
“I think Jordi could play basketball, volleyball, softball ... anything she wanted to at the college level,” Nashville softball coach Dempsey Witte said. “She’s just a competitor and has done a great job for us in all the sports.”
Harre’s father, Wayne, has been her high school head coach in basketball and an assistant in volleyball and softball. He’s also help build her sports career from the ground up. As a result, they enjoy a special relationship that includes some tough love as well as a lot of fun given Nashville’s long run of success in girls sports.
“It’s really great,” Harre said. “I want to impress him and I want to do well. I love that he’s involved in every sport and I love that he’s always there. Any time I mess up he’s going to be hard on me, but it makes me strive to be that much better. Without him there I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
Wayne Harre has been part of two state championship teams with his daughter, but values even more the incredibly tight bond sports has helped create with her.
“I don’t think I’d trade it for anything in the world,” he said. “Sometimes tough situations would come up because we were on a pretty big stage at times and (people) were looking at how that relationship was going to be. To me it was so special because we’ve been successful at what we’ve done and not many people can say that.”
The Harres live on a large farm between Nashville and Okawville and Jordi Harre does what she can to help out with the wheat, corn and soybean crops. She has been ruled off limits when it comes to the John Deere tractor, however.
“My dad did let me drive a tractor one time and I messed it up pretty bad, so that was it,” she said. “The combines and stuff, I’m not crazy about that.”
As if playing three sports wasn’t enough, Jordi Harre also followed in her mother’s footsteps as a talented singer.
“We sing together a lot and we have since we were younger,” Jordi Harre said.
While she always has enjoyed singing with her mom, playing for her dad was just as special. So was their ability to leave most of the sports talk behind once the games ended.
“We just never brought it home,” Wayne Harre said. “Maybe a handful of times we talked about games that were played, but for the most part we really didn’t’ do that. When we got on the court or the field it was a coach-player situation and I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.
“She was all about putting the team first. It wasn’t about her individual stats, it was all about winning — and winning the next game.”