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Homecoming for OHS softball players in PECS home finale

PECS softball players join four members of the Okeechobee High junior varsity team for a homecoming of sorts April 4 at Ollie Jones Memorial Park in Brighton. The four Seminoles who played at PECS in middle school and returned to face their former team are, from left, Janessa Nunez, Jacee Jumper, Julia Smith and Brienna Brockman. (Photo by Kevin Johnson)

BRIGHTON — The final home game of the softball season for Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School was a homecoming for the visiting team.

Four PECS alumni returned to Brighton with the Okeechobee High junior varsity team. Outfielder Brienna Brockman, catcher Jacee Jumper, pitcher Janessa Nunez and shortstop Julia Smith helped the Brahmans cruise past the younger Lady Seminoles, 17-0, in three innings.

The Seminoles from OHS, including Mallorie Thomas, who did not attend the game, have all enjoyed strong seasons. JV coach Alex Estremera said they are a big reason why the team had lost only one game all season.
Here’s the coach’s views on each player:

“Bre is our most improved player. She came in and didn’t know about the game too much. She has come a long way. She started out in the back of the order and has moved her way up to the 4 or 5 spot. I think she might have the most doubles on the team.”

“Jacee has been our catcher. She’s done exceptionally well. She has a great arm back there and has thrown a couple people out. Hitting-wise, she has a lot of power and she shows it.”

“Janessa has been our main pitcher. She’s done phenomenal. We’ve only lost one game with her. She leads the game. She has pretty good command and is learning different pitches. On the offensive side, she has improved from where she started. These last few weeks she’s been our No. 2 hitter and done phenomenally well.”

“Julia Smith has been the leadoff hitter all year. We had her hitting righty, then we switched over and had her start slapping and she’s more than excelled in that. She’s done phenomenal. She’s an outstanding hitter.”

“Mallorie is our second pitcher. She mainly plays outfielder. She’s a great defender. Great athlete. She has great speed on the bases and is another one of our .400 hitters.”

Okeechobee’s Seminole contingent made an impact right away against PECS. Julia, Jacee and Brienna all had hits and scored runs in the first inning. Meanwhile, Janessa struck out five of the first six batters she faced, including the side in order in the second. She held her former teammates without a hit. PECS’ lone baserunners were Carolina Urbina, who was hit by a pitch, and Mariah Billie, who walked.

Before the game, the only eighth-graders on PECS – sisters Caylie and Haylie Huff – were honored in a pregame ceremony. The Huffs walked between their teammates who lined up on the sides of the pitching circle and were greeted with flowers from their coaches at home plate. Haylie was the starting pitcher and Caylie played shortstop.

Okeechobee’s Jacee Jumper takes a powerful swing. Catching for PECS is Karey Gopher. (Photo by Kevin Johnson)
Okeechobee’s Julia Smith attempts a one-handed bunt. (Photo by Kevin Johnson)
Former PECS softball players pitcher Janessa Nunez and shortstop Julia Smith face their former team April 11 as members of the Okeechobee High JV. (Photo by Kevin Johnson)
PECS softball honored sisters Haylie and Caylie Huff, the team’s only eighth-graders, with a ceremony April 4 before facing Okeechobee High JV. (Photo by Kevin Johnson)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at