BRIGHTON — With help from their parents, student-athletes balance school, team practices and homework. The hard work of the eighth-grade softball players and their parents were recognized March 31 at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School’s last home game of the season.
For the two departing eighth-graders, Aleina Micco and Krysta Burton, the night was their last hurrah.
The girls were escorted by their parents through a tunnel of teammates as they took the field for the final time. Aleina was escorted by Joey and Reina Micco, and Krysta was accompanied by Chris and Micki Burton.
For star pitcher Aleina, the feeling was bittersweet.
“It’s kind of sad; I’ve been here since first grade,” said the 14-year-old. “I’ll miss playing here on the reservation with this team and these coaches, but I’m ready to start something new with a new team and a new coach.”
Both girls plan to play for their high school teams next year. Aleina, who will be home-schooled, will play for Moore Haven High School, and Krysta will attend Moore Haven or Okeechobee High School.
Coach Nancy Jimmie said she will miss both players next year. She said she is proud of their accomplishments with the team.
“Aleina was my No. 1 pitcher and has a big bat,” Jimmie said. “She has a great attitude and I’m going to miss her. She helped us win a lot of games. Krysta is a sweetheart. She has a great attitude and she’d go anywhere I needed her. Her biggest strength is her fielding; she has a good arm.”
Krysta, who played first and third base, looks forward to the future, but she said she is also nervous.
“I had a lot of fun playing softball and will miss this team,” said Krysta, 13. “It was hard work, but I got encouragement from them. I’ll remember that the most.”
Both girls want to play for Florida State University after high school.