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Grand Lake Sports Zone

Grove’s Jennifer Hiatt – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by Mark Lee Shelter Insurance

Jennifer Hiatt is a 10th grader who plays softball at Grove High School. She loves playing first base but has been playing right field for Grove and really enjoying it as well. Jennifer says that softball has taught her perseverance and the importance of putting in the work the make improvements as a player and team. A teammate who has made the biggest impression on her is Lily Reeves, “when I moved to Grove as a freshman, she was one of the first friends I gained and now she is one of my best friends. I don’t think I would be where I am without her” Jennifer remarked on their friendship. 

She works just as hard academically and was proud to say that she has always managed to keep straight A’s and hopes to continue that trend throughout the rest of her high school career. Jennifer named Dr. Heather Van Otterloo, her 6th-8thgrade teacher, as her favorite because of how much she learned from her. She said the impact on her life was immense and teachers have always been an inspiration, so much so that Jennifer has known since her third-grade class with Mrs. Owen that she wanted to grow up to be a teacher as well. 

Jennifer’s favorite part of representing Grove is knowing she can do so well both on and off the field. A quote that has stuck with her is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” from one of her old coaches. “She would tell us this when we were getting down to help us remember to continue to play hard and not to think about the big picture, but to do each individual thing right and the rest would fall into place.”

Along with softball Jennifer is the school’s FCCLA Vice-President and took home second place at state last year for the Children’s Literature STAR event. She thanks her parents for all the work they put in for her as well as the Joplin Little League Softball association for instilling confidence in her and teaching her “…softball is all about the fun you have during it.” She also wanted to thank her team and coaches for all the ways they have helped her grow. “Finally, I want to thank God for giving me an amazing life on this earth filled with wonderful people,” Jennifer concluded. Keep an eye out for Jennier Hiatt, this gracious student athlete is going places!

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