Sandburg's Lexi Bryant: An All-Star in Our Midst
Senior softball standout catches college scholarship, ESPN RISE honors and looks to make final mark as she prepares for her last hurrah with Eagles.
Leadership, talent, dedication and team-first ideals--that's what it takes to be an ESPN RISE High School All-American. Sandburg softball standout Lexi Bryant meets all the criteria today.
Hers is a who woulda thunk it story. When she first started playing softball, she had no idea that it would lead her to where she is now, a returning all-state pick and Kansas recruit.
"I got a flyer at school in second grade and my dad said, 'Why don't we try this,' " Bryant said. "That's pretty much it. I stuck with it. My dad was my coach. I had a lot of passion for the game, so it stuck with me."
Bryant said one of the main reasons softball is so important to her is due to the bonds she has built with her teammates.
"Every team I'm on, we're always close," she said. "This past season, I was close with everyone. We have so much fun as a team and as individuals. We all love to stick together and have fun."
Bryant's passion has rubbed off on some of her teammates, Sandburg coach Jim Fabianski said.
"Right now, we have a little junior catcher who is pretty awesome," he said. "Lexi (Bryant) has done a great job with her and has had a lot of influence on her."
Bryant let her bat do the talking as she helped the Eagles bring home the state title last spring. In 141 plate appearances, she hit 15 home runs and knocked in 46 runs. She ended the season with a .504 batting average.
Opposing pitchers had a tough time with Bryant: They were able to strike her out five times. She is just now beginning preparations for her last season with the Eagles. Then, in the 2011-12 academic year, she will begin her career with the Jayhawks.
"It's so cool," Bryant said. "I'm a leader for Challenge Education, and I'm a leader for softball, I guess. It's so much fun."
After Bryant has received her diploma and said her goodbyes to Sandburg, Fabianski said her impact on the program and the impression she has made on him will live for an eternity.
"She's been a team player since the day she walked in the door," he said. "She's going to leave a big hole. She's made my coaching job so much easier."