Looking different than they normally do on a softball field, the Bradwell Institute softball players were all dressed up for their annual awards banquet Sunday at Club Stewart.
The event recognizes team and individual accomplishments for the season.
Head coach Sharyl Eastlake, assistant coach Jeff Eastlake and junior-varsity coach Misty Eastlake welcomed attendees and displayed a slideshow. The slideshow drew giggles and strong emotions as it showed the three seniors in various stages of their lives, culminating with their senior seasons. The slideshow also showed the JV and varsity teams during games and gatherings, as well as the parents and team supporters.
The coaching staff thanked the players, parents and volunteers for their support, and BI Principal Scott Carrier spoke to the audience about the players.
“We want to congratulate the girls for all the work they’ve done throughout the year,” he said. “The girls spent a lot of time practicing and traveling and doing what they could do to make their team as successful as possible.”
Carrier said the players learned to work together.
“It was always a great experience for me, watching how the girls work together … you are a group that we can point to and say, ‘This is how it is supposed to be done’ … they worked cooperatively together … they worked hard together, and they had a good time … and they put in the time not just out on the field, but in the classroom, too,” he said. “It was great to watch the slideshow and seeing how many girls had the Bradwell Advanced Placement Scholar shirts on. That tells me you are not only dedicated to softball, but you are also dedicated to the academics, which is, of course, what school is all about.”
Before the attendees had a family-style meal of fried chicken, vegetables and dessert, former Lady Tiger Barbara Rego addressed the group, saying how all the life lessons she learned started with softball.
Rego signed and played softball at Georgia Perimeter College, where she led the Lady Jaguars to the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 Region 17 championship.
“I played softball for much of my entire life. My time as a Lady Tiger has been the highlight of my career … We enjoyed many memories but most of all we enjoyed the camaraderie,” said Rego, adding that she has retired from softball after two years at GPC to focus on her film major at Georgia State University.
“Everything I learned about life I learned while playing softball,” Rego said, adding that learning to push through adversity helped land her dream internship at Ryan Seacrest Studios in Atlanta.
“Life is a marathon and not a sprint … it’s a journey not a destination,” she said. “No one likes to lose, but there is so much you can learn from it … in softball, it’s three strikes and you’re out. But in life it’s try, try, try and try again.”
Misty Eastlake recognized Josephine Satele and Mackenzie Stewart for the outstanding job they did in selling tickets for the banquet. Each was given a Lady Tiger jacket.
Miracle Fata, Kaylee Taylor, Briana Tootle, Miranda Wells, Madison Winn and Kayleen Pixley earned their first BI letters. Jakaria Fleming, Leana Carrette, Shania Eldridge, Mackenzie Stewart, Melissa Gregory and Tamia Johnson earned their bars.
The coaching staff then announced the awards.
Silver Slugger — Madison Winn
Most Improved — Sara Hause
Coach’s Award — De’Ana Gumataotao
MVP — De’Ana Gumataotao
Golden Glove — Jakaria Fleming
Most Improved — Tamia Johnson
Silver Slugger – Kayleen Pixley
Coach’s Award — Leana Carrette
MVP — Mackenzie Stewart
Academic Award — Kaylee Taylor
Lady Tiger Award — Kaylee Taylor