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Salina South’s Lainey Howard – Player to Watch Spotlight – Presented by Salina Ortho

Starting second baseman for Salina South High School softball team, Lainey Howard, is proud of the effort her team has given this season. Playing through adversity and working hard to finish strong, Howard said the team is right where it should be at this point.

“We started out our season against two very strong teams and faced one of the toughest pitchers in the state. We are a young team that faced adversity but played competitively. We feel that we are right where we need to be at this point in the season. I put a lot of work in this off season at the plate with end goals of making it to state and I know we are on the right track,” said Howard. “I love our team chemistry. South softball consists of a great group of girls who are always willing to help each other and encourage each other to do our best. We are each other’s biggest supporters and feel blessed to get to play for such a strong, fun coaching staff.”

Being a student-athlete at South, Howard and her teammates have a since of pride when representing their school.

“Salina South is a great school with a great softball program. I am very fortunate that they offer many opportunities both on and off the field and I have been lucky to have great teachers as well,” said Howard.

At a very young age, Howard started playing ball and she has loved every minute of it.

“My parents had a bat in my hand as soon as I was able to swing one. I can remember playing T-ball at the YMCA and pre-PeeWee with Knights of Columbus starting when I was four years old,” said Howard.

Now a starter in high school, Howard said her fondest memory came during her first year of varsity softball.

“My favorite memory of playing softball for South was my freshman year when we beat Derby. My coach at the time, Daryl Hoelting, made us a deal that if we won, he would dye his hair green and gold. The next practice we got to dye it for him,” said Howard.

Academics rank high on Howard’s list of priorities. Away from sports, she is a member of National Honor Society, HOSA, and she participates in Relay for Life.

“I take my academic education very seriously. I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA and know this will help me when applying for scholarships to further my college education. I am hoping to pursue a degree in optometry,” said Howard.

After she graduates, Howard plans to attend college and continue to play softball while pursuing her degree in optometry. This summer Howard is looking forward to playing travel ball.

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