I WANT TO PLAY COLLEGE SOFTBALL
Hey y’all – My name is Kaley Sikes and I am a 17 year old High School Junior and a pitcher for the 18U USSSA Georgia Pride who is chasing the challenging dream of the love a girl has for diamonds – that is a softball diamond.
My whole life I have been playing the sport of Softball. My parents signed me up for t-ball as soon as I could hold the bat- at the age of 2 1/2, and it was love at first swing. I have had an amazing opportunity to grow up with my dad as my coach, and he went to college to play and was sent to the minor leagues where he tore his shoulder. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, so I became a pitcher just like him!
MY STORY – SUCCESS AND INJURY
August 23, 2013
I was the number one pitcher for our team and was pushing myself and the team to make it to the Final Four- the furthest place School Softball can go. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a normal at bat, and I lay down a successful bunt in order to move my teammate from first to second. The other team was up by one so I knew my teammate on third had to score, so I began taking a bigger and bigger lead off first in order to draw the throw from the catcher. The throw forced me to dive back into the bag. The second baseman, covering the bag, has to jump up from the bag to get the ball that was thrown too high and she comes back down to tag me. I look through her legs and I couldn’t feel my hand on the bag, so I picked it up to place it on the bag. That moment changed my life forever. The top of my right pinky finger was pointing to the right, while the bottom was hanging off the left. (This is my throwing hand) I knew then my course of softball would change forever. I thought everything I had worked to this point was gone, and I was afraid I might never retrieve it back again. Why would this happen to me? I don’t think the operating team, my doctor and my physical therapist realize the impact they made on my life. Without them I don’t know where I would be in my career.
Therapy was hard, and it was really tough not being able to do simple things like pick up tiny little sticks and put them into a hole. I remember when my doctor finally cleared me to pitch again. I was so happy, but it was like learning all over again. The feeling of being back on the field showed me I could never give up. Although when I pitch I have to wrap my pinky still today, I have almost regained my low 60 mph fastball and that is truly remarkable.
MY 2014 GOAL
My goal is to get enough exposure with college coaches and universities that someday soon one will choose me to be a member on their team and hopefully offer me a scholarship which will help pay for my education. The challenge at this point is the finances required for me to get the exposure to college coaches.
Leslie, my physical therapist, showed me the impact one person can have on someone’s life and because of that I am inspired to become a Physical Therapist, and using softball to get into the right college would be amazing. I am looking into medical colleges across Georgia and being able to showcase my talent and love for the sport in front of the right coach is my dream, but, comes at a great cost. I have maintained a 4.0 my entire life, never making a B. And right now my class rank weighted is 10 out of 269 and unweighted I am 4th in my class. I work hard at whatever I do, and won’t stop until I know I am doing the best I can. I am not done yet, and I hope to continue my dream and love of softball into college and able to change lives with my story. And show that all things are possible with God.
WHAT I NEED AND MY SUPPORT
As a team we have to split the cost of the tournaments many in the price ranges well into the $850 margin. This cost doesn’t even include hotel rooms, gas money to drive hundreds of miles to these tournaments, food (and a teenage girl has got to eat), cost for the whole family to get into the tournament, and drinks in order for us girls to stay hydrated. My parents care for a family of 6 and most of the time can’t always come up with the funds to to travel to see me play. I am blessed with a wonderful family of my Mom, Holly, Dad, Ken, and 2 sisters and a brother, who all strive to play other sports. We need some financial help in order to help pay for all the expenses that come with Softball. We are hoping to raise $1000 to help with the costs that come with this beautiful sport. It would help so much to not have to worry about my parents being there for me at my tournaments. With this I know they will always be able to be there with all of their support. Thank you Protex Sports Foundation for your encouragement, and support in helping me accomplish my dream.