• Rachel Jowers and Taylor Faircloth

Interview with a Syrupmaker Softball Player

Softball? Yes, softball is a sport. A very serious one in fact, and here at Cairo High School the softball team strives for excellence just as we do in academics. One very achieved student both in athletics and academics, is our very own Mackenzie Puckett. Mackenzie is an honor student at the top of her classes, what she does when she’s not studying for her academics she plays for our CHS softball team as our shortstop and number one-hole-hitter. Mackenzie is FSU bound with a verbal commitment to the Florida State Seminoles. A fun fact about this particular program is that the FSU softball team won’t look at you unless you have a 3.8 GPA in your core classes. There’s no skating by! How important is academics? That’s exactly what we asked CHS senior Mackenzie Puckett when we sat down for an interview. "It's very important, the key words in 'student athlete' are 'student' and 'athlete'. 'Student' being the first word, 'athlete coming second," Mackenzie responded. Mackenzie is in the running for Valedictorian, and has pulled a few all-nighters to stay in the fight. while she may be still battling in the fight for Valedictorian, she has some tips for those who strive to do their best in their tough academic classes. "Time management is a big thing, just make sure you're getting it done on time and don't go home, take a break, watch TV for a little while. Go home, and get it done," she advises. For those who want to go farther in their athletics than high school, she had some seperate advice, "If you have good grades, you have a better chance of being recruited than if you don't, its as simple as that." Softball has helped guide Mackenzie her whole life. Softball became more than just a sport for Mackenzie when she seriously dedicated herself to softball at as young as eleven years old. Ever since then she has played for more, than just the love of the game, but for the competition and her future. "Softball has taught me hard work, how to be confident in myself, and also teamwork," proudly stated Mackenzie. CHS has helped guide Mackenzie through softball; one person in particular who contributed is Ron Best. Ron Best, also known as Coach Best, is the CHS softball head coach. Mackenzie had a few positive things to say about her coach, "He's a great coach, if you're ever doing bad, or you're feeling down, he knows what to say to pick you up, and he'll push you to do better. I mean, that works in both life and on the ballfield." Mackenzie is an intelligent, and talented softball player, and takes the lessons she learns on the ballfield into life, going by the motto "Work hard, do your best, and go after it, and hey, give it all you've got."