By Derrick Smith
Throughout an athlete’s career, they spend a lot of time with their teammates and coaches. This not only can help with team chemistry, but it also allows the coach to have a big influence on the athlete. Aiyanna LeClair says that her coach always helped keep her focused and on track.
“Coach Morgan Marks would have to be the biggest influence on my life,” she said. “She never let me give up and always pushed me to succeed. She always motivated me to always give it my all and never leave anything left on the table. She always went above and beyond to always make our team better.”
LeClair is a senior at Newkirk High School, where she plays pitcher and first base for the Lady Tigers softball team. She first began playing softball about ten years ago and she has played ever since.
Another person that has had a big influence on her life would be one of her teachers at Newkirk.
“Mrs. Mayden made an impact on me but it was more than just classroom learning,” she stated. “She is a teacher that always goes the extra mile for her students and helps them in any way she possibly can. Whether that be through any needed advice, or getting a ride when needed.”
During her career, Aiyanna says that she has made some great memories, but one memory stands out as her favorite.
“We were playing a game during my eighth-grade year,” she recalled. “I hit my first out of the park homerun. What made it even more memorable was that it was also a grand slam. It actually hit the outfield fence and knocked a piece of the yellow tubing off of the top.”
LeClair enjoys the game but says that it takes more than just work to be a good player.
“You have to have a good mindset,” she said. “If your mind is not right, your play on the field will suffer.”