Jenkins was one of about 20 girls who showed up. Papile guided the girls through clinic-style workouts that consisted of basic dribbling and shooting drills. Jenkins navigated the chairs and cones with ease. Plus, she could shoot the lights out.
"She was the only one in the clinic who was knocking down 3s," Papile said. "Clearly, her name got written down."
Jenkins, a 5-foot-5-inch guard who is a seventh-grader at Cathedral’s junior high, made the varsity squad. On Friday in the Panthers' season opener against Nazareth, she had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 8 steals in a 44-34 win. She helped Papile, the daughter of Boston Amateur Basketball Club founder Leo Papile, notch her first career high school coaching victory.
According to Papile, Jenkins had just one turnover Friday, the result of a 5-second violation. Jenkins also applied full-court pressure on defense for almost the entire game, stopping only when Papile told her to back off.
"She plays aggressive, but she's also methodical," Papile said. "She knows where the ball's gonna be."
This past summer, Papile said, Jenkins played on the Boston Sharks AAU team. Papile has spent most of her career coaching boys' basketball, so Jenkins was never on her radar. But once she saw Jenkins play, Papile knew she was had encountered a special talent. Now, Papile feels privileged to be Jenkins's coach.
“It’s a match made in heaven that I get to work with her,” Papile said. “This is the beginning of a fantastic story.”
After a brilliant performance in her varsity debut – 20 points, 11 boards and 8 steals is impressive by any standard – the sky appears to be the limit for the 12-year-old.
“She gets better every single day,” Papile said. “You can see it happening before your eyes."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.