GRAPELAND – Grapeland Sandiette Kiera Decluette signed her National letter of intent Tuesday to play softball at Navarro College.
Decluette has been a staple for the Sandiette softball program for the past few years. She added to her list of accomplishments this past season by being named the district's Defensive MVP after earning Offensive MVP a few seasons prior.
Decluette wrapped up her senior season by helping the Sandiettes claim the bi-district championship in 16-6 win over Normangee where she led her team with three hits in four at bats.
“I've accomplished my dreams,” Decluette said after officially signing her letter of intent.
Decluette had a chance to meet with Navarro softball head coach Jessica Karenke-Burke at a camp where her select team practiced.
“Coach K is kind of like a mom,” Decluette said. “She's understanding and sweet.”
Coach Karenke-Burke has led Bulldog softball to six Region XIV Conference Championship titles and 14 post-season tournament appearances as she enters her 22nd season with the program, 21st as head coach.
Karenke-Burke now holds the most all-time coaching victories in Navarro softball history and her overall coaching record entering 2020-21 stands at 621-369 (.627).
The opportunity for Decluette to move on to the collegiate level, under the guidance of Karenke-Burke, will make an impact on the Grapeland girls coming behind her head coach Trina Deyo believes.
“It's incredible to see this” Deyo said. “It'll be one of her greatest experiences in life. This shows our girls you can still be from a small town and chase your big dreams. Anyone is capable of reaching this when they work hard and love the game.”
Decluette echoed those sentiments. Her work ethic and love for her craft has pushed her to accomplish this massive feat.
“You have to have confidence in yourself,” Decluette said. “It takes passion and love for this game. You have to have the heart to want to play and get better.”