By Payton Moody
Cheyenne Kunkel, a standout softball player at Grove High School, brings her passion and dedication to the field every day. Her journey through the sport, her admiration for teammates and her aspirations makes her a player to watch this softball season.
When asked about her favorite coach, Kunkel singled out Coach Cowen, highlighting the profound impact he had on her. “He always pushed me to be better,” Kunkel said. “After practice when everyone was leaving, he’d stay behind with me and pitch buckets after buckets to me until I told him I was done.” Coach Cowen’s dedication to Cheyenne’s improvement exemplifies the kind of coach that leaves a lasting impression.
Teammates play a significant role in any athlete’s journey, and Kunkel found inspiration in Elliot Geer. “She’s always working her butt off at practice during practice or after practice,” Kunkel said. “She’s always on her grind, and she keeps everyone’s spirits up.”
Moving from the field to the classroom, Kunkel spoke highly of Mrs. Cohea, her favorite teacher. “Anytime I need help with algebra, she’s always there to help. She makes sure I get the things done that I need to get done,” Kunkel noted.
Preparing for the upcoming season is crucial, and Kunkel and her sister Chloe put in the work during the off-season. “My sister Chloe and I would go to the batting cages all through the summer and just keep hitting,” Kunkel said. “I wouldn’t leave the field until I had all of them hitting the back of the cage with a line drive.”
Softball isn’t just a game for Kunkel; it’s a passion that has taught her valuable life lessons. “This game is set up for failure,” she said. “There’s always going to be a play that needs to be made. This game is about working hard and being committed to making yourself better.”
One of Kunkel’s favorite memories in the sport was hitting her first homerun during her sophomore year, a moment when all her hard work paid off.
After high school, Kunkel has clear plans. She aspires to become a dental assistant or explore opportunities in the real estate business, showcasing her drive to succeed both on and off the field.
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