BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Alex Gladding finished her senior year celebrating with the Clarkston Varsity Softball team as they ended in the Final Four at state finals.
She also celebrated her personal accolades during the season including receiving the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association Scholarship and the Academic All-State Award.
“I was really excited,” she said about the scholarship. “It was one of the first scholarships I had received so far this year. Also, Coach (Don) Peters told me to apply for it so I did and I actually got it.”
She added she already had it on her mind to apply because Lady Wolf Mikayla Blaska had won it.
She was also excited about receiving Academic All-State, adding she was part of the International Baccalaureate program since her junior year.
“It is a rigourous course especially since I had four HL (higher level) classes,” she said, adding it will prepare her for the nursing program at Georgetown University. “I took the most advanced science and math courses I could. It definitely taught me time management which is important.”
Gladding explained she was drawn to nursing because she likes helping people.
“In seventh grade we had career day and a nurse came in. She said she had flexible hours,” she added. “She could still have a family. I like the idea of helping people and also having a flexible schedule so I can work the hours I want to. I have been to a few nursing camps which solidified me going into nursing.”
Gladding began playing softball when she was really young, starting with T-Ball. She moved onto little league and travel ball.
“I liked the competition of the game,” she explained. “I liked the team aspect. I like being with the girls. The atmosphere around softball is really great because it teaches you important lessons in sports and in life, too.”
She added she might continue playing softball with a club or intramural team at Georgetown.
“Alex has a great attitude,” said Peters, head coach. “She was always up for the games. She enjoyed playing, she played with a smile, she gave it all. She made a couple great catches in the playoffs. She did what we asked her to do. You couldn’t have a better role model and captain. We are going to miss her. Alex is a quality person, quality athlete and pretty smart.”
Gladding’s advice to aspiring athletes is to never give up.
“Follow your dreams,” she added. “If you want something go and get it. Do everything you need to to get it. If anyone doubts you, prove them wrong.”