Dixon High School senior Payton Jeffers has high hopes for the future, including a career in international relations.

Payton Jeffers doesn’t settle. The three-sport Dixon High School athlete goes the extra mile in both athletics and academics.

Jeffers’ will to do better sprouted from her mother and her father, Jeff Jeffers, a retired U.S. Marine master sergeant.

“He has shown me a sense of self-resilience, being able to do things on my own, being an individual and knowing how to push through some obstacles,” Jeffers said of her father.

Her mother, Tammy Jeffers, has often told her to dream big.

“She was able to get out of the small town she was in, and so she was like, ‘You should have that want to do more with your life’,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers is doing more.

The fourth-year varsity player is averaging a double-double this season and had a career game against Richlands in late December, scoring 25 points and grabbing 24 rebounds.

Jeffers has committed to play softball at Salem State University in Massachusetts and major in international relations and global studies, a choice influenced by her inherent cultural curiosity.

“Being a military child, and having an opportunity to go live abroad, that’s always why I’ve wanted to major in international relations,” Jeffers said. “I want to learn more about my surroundings. The military has helped me with that as well as my mom telling me about it.”

Dixon High School girls basketball coach Christel Caliguire is proud of her team.

“Our girls in general just work well together,” Caliguire said, who also coaches softball. “They get along with each other, and that’s a part of [Payton] and her other seniors, their leadership and their ability to lead by example.”

The tight-knit community feel of Dixon, facilitated by its teachers and coaches, is something Jeffers enjoys.

“Our records might not be the greatest, but our coaches are really dedicated to wanting to better the players not just in the sport, but also off the court or field and in the classroom,” Jeffers said.

The Dixon girls, who are 3-2 in conference, are still in the running for the Coastal 8 Conference (1A/2A) regular season title. With nine games left on the schedule, there is time to catch frontrunner Croatan.

“Our wins may not always show how hard we work or how bad we want it, but it’s just good to come to practice with these group of girls, because they enjoy one another, and they do work hard,” Caliguire said. “You can’t really ask for more than that.”

Dixon hosts Richlands on Friday before traveling to Trask on Jan. 21.