by Mike Hastings
BSW Staff Writer
Kaylyn Graham has a beautiful smile and she almost always is flashing it, that is unless you’re an opposing pitcher.
When she steps into the batters’ box that smile changes to a menacing glare. The sweet homecoming queen turns into something else - a powerful home run hitting machine.
Though she’s a pitcher’s nightmare, she’s a dream to her coaches, her teachers and her teammates. That is why we honor Kaylyn Graham as our Athlete of the Week.
“It’s been awesome watching her grow up,” says her NCS coach Ashley Page. And she literally has watched Kaylyn grow up. Ashley and her husband Byron have coached Kaylyn since she was a seven-year-old little Mustang in the Bellevue Sports Athletic Association.
“As good as she is on the field, she’s a better person off the field,” Page said.
“She a great Christian role model for the other girls. She leads by example,” she added.
And what an example. Kaylyn is hitting .564 with eight home runs, seven doubles and 26 runs batted in.
On defense, her coach calls her a human vacuum machine at third base.
“She is just a complete player,” the coach added.
Besides sports, Kaylyn is also Treasurer of her senior class. Her favorite teacher is Mr. Hines.
“He’s like a grandfather to me,” Kaylyn said.
“He taught me Freshman bible and Latin and this year speech. He’s hard on you and makes you do the work, but he’ll talk to you if you’re struggling,” she said.
As mentioned earlier, Kaylyn was voted Homecoming Queen this year, and she’s part of the school’s singing group The Entertainers, performing at Christmas shows and other events.
She’s been a student at NCS since the second grade.
Earlier this month, Kaylyn committed to attend Freed Hardeman University. She will have an official signing day soon. There she plans to study speech therapy, which surely makes Mr. Hines proud, and work with deaf children when she graduates.
While in college, she will be joining her older sister on the school’s softball team.
“She will be great,” Coach Page says. “She will step up. She will go there and be herself, not just the little sister,” Page said.
But she still has some work to do in high school. The All-District player from last year hopes to lead her team to the title this year.
“She’s doing what a senior should do,” Page said. “She’s leading.”
As for the future, “It’s a double-edged sword,” the coach said. “I’m excited to she what she can accomplish at the next level, but at the same time, I hate to see her go.”
Athlete of the Week - Kaylyn Graham