By Thomas Sellers Jr.
She seemed to always be in the right place.
And if Kailey Hunt was slightly out of position, her natural gifts and athleticism would makeup for it. The Brighton Lady Cardinal senior was in the right place once again Nov. 9 signing her letter of intent on her National Signing Day in the Brighton High School Library.
For Brighton Head Softball Coach Robin Jacobs it was a busy week in the BHS Library witnessing his other senior standout Ta’mya Johnson ink her letter to Delta State University. Hunt will join Johnson in the Gulf South Conference as a member of the West Alabama Tigers.
“She’s been it — her and Ta’mya,” Jacobs said. “They’re both signing their scholarships this week. They’ve both been very interval to the turnaround. This doesn’t happen without the help of Kailey. She’s probably the best one we’ve got playing at second base. She’s probably one of the best we’ve had period. She’s a really good player.
“She just has softball knowledge,” he added. “And she’s a fierce competitor. She’s probably one of the best I’ve seen in any sport. She just goes, goes and goes. She doesn’t ever quit. We’ve always got a chance with her out there. I don’t know if she’s missed a ball. We’re real comfortable with her out there. She was in the turnaround and she was a lightning storm from already making it three State Tournaments in a row.”
Hunt has been a vital part of the Lady Cardinals back-to-back State appearance. Cheering those moments on and there to celebrate her signing were her parents father Jimmy Caesar, mother Carey Hunt and stepfather Danny Gonzalez.
“I am a little nervous signing my life away,” Kailey said jokingly. “They’re really welcoming and the Coach was really welcoming. The team was very nice and the campus was really nice. I really fell in love with their softball team.”
Tigers Head Coach Carie Dever Boaz will add the All-District infielder to her roster in 2018. The Tigers play in the Gulf South Conference and have been under the direction of Boaz since June 2016. Her previous stop was at the University of Arkansas for 8 seasons.
Hunt said she is excited to join the program of a coach with that background. Hunt’s background features back-to-back District 13-3A titles, Region 7-3A championships and trips to State.
“This is what she’s been talking about the last four or five years,” Caesar said. “It’s been nothing but softball since she started playing competitive ball at age of 11. Since then, she’s always been out on that field.”
Kailey mixed in some time to make good grades and become a member of Brighton’s National Honor Society. But her release was the softball diamond.
“A lot of hard work and getting her uniform dirty,” Caesar said. “She’s not happy unless she gets her uniform dirty.”
Growing up in Tipton County, Kailey had other athletic avenues growing up like gymnastics. Now she’s is a multiple-sport standout at BHS.
“Practicing everyday out there on the hitting tee, she was non-stop,” Carey said. “She was working non-stop. When you’re doing basketball and softball, with 3 hours of softball practice to go along with her basketball schedule in the summer.
“She’s just a good-spirited kid,” she added. “Always happy, always good with lots of friends.”
Kailey has made friends through Cardinal Softball and Basketball. She’s created lasting relationships through travel ball from Southaven to Tipton County with Coach Kendrick, Coach K, Coach Rix, Coach Jacobs and Coach Emily.
Now Kailey is ready to extend her softball family to West Alabama with Coach Boaz.
“She loves the Coach,” Carey said. “She went there and met the Coach. She just loves the school. She really liked Coach Boaz with her personality and everything about her. It’s a good place for her.”
Brighton has been a good place for Kailey joining forces with her classmates to restore the successful days of Lady Cardinal Softball.
“We were thinking we need to take over this program and step up,” Kailey said. “We need to play our game so we can win.”
So the players like Hunt, Johnson and the rest of the Class of 2018 started to make a huge impact as sophomores. With multiple accomplishments on their resume’ the Lady Cardinals seniors are starting to reap the rewards.
“One more year together with Ta’mya,” Hunt concluded. “We’ve always been on the same team. Now we will play against each other. We deserve to be here — our work ethic and attitude and for us to come together as a team and having a winning attitude.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.