Student in the Spotlight By Christian Weaner
Kaylee Sumpter, Senior
This spring, the Bonners Ferry softball team has only one senior on its roster—Kaylee Sumpter.
Kaylee has played softball each season since her freshman year when the spring sports schedule was cut short due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite that early setback, Kaylee has worked hard to improve her softball skills each year. During the summer, Kaylee plays in an adult softball league alongside her mom, Cindy, who is the head coach of the varsity team this year.
Now in her final season playing first base and catcher for the Badgers, Kaylee has the opportunity to lead a team with two of her younger sisters, Taylor and Kyra, on the roster.
"What I enjoy about softball is having a positive environment but also being competitive," Kaylee explained. "I get to travel while staying active and making memories along the way."
Kaylee credits her parents and grandparents for encouraging her growth as an athlete and a student during her high school career.
"I would say my inspiration would be my parents," Kaylee added. "They push me to my full potential and motivate me."
In addition to softball, Kaylee has played a key role as a post player for the Bonners Ferry Girls Basketball team.
This past fall, Kaylee also decided to try out for the soccer team, making an impact as a defender for the Badgers team that surprised many people, earning a third-place finish in the competitive 3A Intermountain League.
"This was my first season trying out for soccer, and I wish I had started sooner," Kaylee admitted. "The coach, Ms. [Emily] Winebark, was amazing and helped me throughout the season."
When Kaylee is not playing sports, she also enjoys a wide range of outdoor hobbies like hiking, kayaking, fishing and archery. Throughout high school, Kaylee has worked at the Kootenai River Brewing Company, and in her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends.
Kaylee appreciates all the outdoor activities Bonners Ferry offers and recognizes the value of living in a small town.
"I like that Boundary County is a safe community where everyone knows everyone and people are involved," Kaylee said.
After graduating in June, Kaylee plans to attend Montana State University in the fall, where she has earned an academic scholarship. In the future, she hopes to find opportunities to travel and visit places she has never been before.