By Bernie Dotson
Kiara Whitmore (Navajo), a standout softball player at Gallup High School, has announced that she’ll play softball next year for Pratt Community College of Pratt, Kansas.
Whitmore made the announcement April 17 at the Gallup High School gymnasium among a cache of family and coaches at Gallup High. Whitmore, 18, played softball for the Lady Bengals each of her years at Gallup High.
“I’m happy and excited,” Whitmore said. “I’m eager to start classes in Kansas and eager to start playing softball for my new school.”
Whitmore said a memorable moment for her as a starter on the Gallup High softball team was beating cross-town rival Miyamura High School in a double-header game played this year. She said the Lady Patriots were playing on a new field.
“That felt great,” Whitmore said. “It was a rival game and we won both games on their field.”
Ray Spencer, the head softball coach at Gallup High, said Whitmore, who got recruitment looks from other schools, played catcher for the Lady Bengals. He said Whitmore has hit 5 home runs in 2017 and has recorded 15 RBIs. Whitmore has hit an astounding 380 at-bat, Spencer said.
“She is a very intelligent player, and a very hard-working player, and a very good athlete,” Spencer said. “I’ve coached her for several years. She will do great in and out of the classroom when she gets to (Pratt).”
Eric Taylor of Truth Spin, which assists area athletes in getting college scholarships, said he facilitated the recruitment process between Whitmore and Kansas officials. He said the Lady Beavers were impressed with Whitmore from the start. “They liked her,” Taylor said. “They really wanted her to come to Kansas.”
Whitmore said she wants to major in nursing at Pratt. She said she’ll miss her family and friends at Gallup High. Her family said they’ll miss her.
“We’re very happy for her,” Kiara’s mom, Michelle Whitmore, said. “We’re all very happy and pleased. She’s been playing sports since she was a small kid.”
Pratt Community College is a two-year college located in Pratt, Kansas. The school is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and fields 11 different sports for men and women. The Beavers play in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.
(Story courtesy of the Gallup Sun; All rights reserved; Permission to reprint must be requested to Gallup Sun)