My name is Jenna Shepherd Gremillion, I am a senior at Utah Valley University and have been a starter for the Wolverines since my redshirt freshman year in 2019. After my redshirt year in 2016-17 I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Yakima, Washington. I came back from my mission in 2019 and have played five years for the Wolverines including a COVID season. Our team earned their first NCAA tournament win in 2021 and first automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in 2022. I was named the WAC Defensive Player of the year in 2021 and 2022. I grew up playing soccer for Utah Celtic FC and attended American Fork HS. I met a cute, tall guy at Chili’s in St. George and we later got married in July 2022.
How early did you start playing soccer? I started playing soccer the year I started Kindergarten.
What was your favorite memory playing for Celtic? My favorite memory was attending Far West Regionals in Hawaii with my team.
What was the recruitment process like for you out of the club/hs? About my 8th grade year the pressure of recruiting really started to ramp up. Everyone was quite concerned about securing a place to play. I loved both basketball and soccer and at the time soccer coaches were committing girls really early in comparison to basketball. I received an offer from UVU my sophomore year to play soccer but I didn’t commit because I wasn’t quite ready. I wanted to explore all my options. The spring of my sophomore year I tore my ACL in a club soccer game. I was heartbroken and determined to get back. I missed my junior year of HS soccer but made it back for the HS basketball season. After playing through the basketball season, I returned to soccer in the spring of my junior year and re-tore the same ACL in club soccer. I then again missed my senior HS soccer season. I now had no offers. I talked to UVU my senior year and asked to receive what was originally offered two years ago. They graciously let me on the team with limited scholarship at the time. Choosing to play at UVU was the best decision and since returning home from my mission I have never looked back.
What was the transition from club/hs to college like for you? The biggest transition to college soccer was the speed of play and physicality of the players.
What is your favorite part about playing college soccer? My favorite part about playing college soccer is the opportunity to build friendships with teammates and travel to new places to play the sport I love.
What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about UVU soccer? The team culture and environment are incredible. I will forever be grateful for the competitive, supportive, and growing program UVU has become.
What are you studying at UVU? I received an undergraduate degree in Healthcare Administration and graduated in August with my Master’s of Business Administration degree.
How have you found balance between playing, studying, and social/family time? One thing that has helped me a lot is to enjoy the moment. There is always a lot to do, but when you focus on being present, everything seems to work out.
What is your proudest moment in soccer? My proudest moment in soccer was winning the first round NCAA tournament game against Memphis. It was the first time in UVU women’s soccer history to ever win a NCAA tournament game. It was an incredibly intense game and thrilling to experience that win.
What advice would you give aspiring youth players that want to play college soccer? You will be the player that you develop on your own. Spend time everyday on your own to get better.
Who did you look up to as a youth soccer player? Sergio Ramos and Becky Sauerbrunn