Spring sports senior profiles, an ongoing series

April 14, 2020

With the spring sports season in question, we here at the Coalfield Progress/Dickenson Star/Big Stone Gap Post hope to run a profile on each and every senior in the paper. Our intention is to give them and their families something to feel happy about in a time of such uncertainty. This will be an ongoing series with different students featured each week.

Central tennis’s Isaiah McAmis

Nineteen-year-old Isaiah McAmis has been a five sport athlete at Central. He currently plays basketball, tennis and runs track.

McAmis has signed his letter of intent to continue his basketball and academic careers at UVA Wise where he will major in education. His intention is to become a basketball coach after graduation.

McAmis describes the feeling of losing the last part of his senior year as “uneasy”.
“(It’s) almost like I have been robbed knowing that I probably won’t be able to participate in spring sports during my senior year,” McAmis said.

McAmis leaves a message of just letting go to his teammates.

“Everything (will) work out for the best and it all happens for a reason,” McAmis said.

Eastside softball’s Kaylee Yates

Kaylee Yates, 17, is a four-sport athlete at Eastside. She plays basketball, volleyball, softball and runs track.

Yates has signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Alice Lloyd College where she will be majoring in biology. She intends to become a physical therapist.

Yates describes herself as “really sad” about her senior year ending early.

“I wanted to go back to school and see all my friends again and play softball my senior year,” Yates said. Those memories are supposed to be the best part of your life and ours got taken away too soon.”

To her teammates, Yates says: “Never take anything for granted because it could all be taken away in the blink of an eye.”

J.I. Burton softball’s Kaelynn Rouleau

Kaelynn Rouleau transferred from Central to J.I. Burton for her senior year. She has devoted her life to playing softball.

“Since the day I [first] picked up a glove, my main focus has always been on softball,” Rouleau said.

Rouleau remembers practicing for hours with her mother and spending her summers and weekends away at travel softball tournaments.

Rouleau has decided not to play sports in college to focus on an intense workload.

Rouleau said when she found out that her school year was cut short and she may not have a senior year of softball, she cried until she couldn’t cry anymore.

“I feel like many seniors have had a huge part of there high school career and lives taken from them without us even knowing in advance. Many friendships, memories, and experiences are being left out of my senior year, especially as a student who transferred this year,” Rouleau said.

To all of her new teammates, Rouleau imparts a message of appreciating what you have.

“Never take a game, practice, or any other time you’re on the field for granted,” Rouleau said. “I want to say thank you for welcoming me to the team so quickly and for always putting everything you have on the field. Thank you for the memories, laughter, and opportunities that all of you have given me.”

Rouleau also thanked her coaches for helping her to become the player she is today.

J.I. Burton track’s Naomi Torres

Seventeen-year-old Naomi Torres participates in four sports at J.I. Burton including cross-country, track, volleyball and wrestling as well as taking gymnastics classics.

Torres will be attending UVA Wise and plans to major in business administration.

Torres felt “very upset” upon learning that her senior year would be abbreviated and she may not get to run her senior year.

“I was looking forward to this track season and getting to run alongside my sister, Alena Bowen, as well as my fellow teammates. I miss attending school, it was something I looked forward to every day,” Torres said.

Torres leaves a message of appreciation and hope to her teammates.

“Please do not take a day for granted,” Torres said. “Even on your worst days, be happy to be at school or practice. You never know when it’s going to be your last day as a student, so make it something worth remembering. Never give up and always do your best.”