Before COVID-19 hit, Tullahoma High School senior Keiandra “Kiwi” Seals had a pretty awesome plan. In July, she was planning to travel to Spain and represent America’s Team on the softball field.
Unfortunately for Seals, the trip was postponed until 2021. However, she will still be eligible to play next year and said that being one of 12 players selected for the opportunity was a big deal.
“It’s really neat,” Seals said. “Despite being told from others that I wasn’t as good, it never stopped me from putting the work in and getting me to the level where I am today. So being selected to play with many other talented girls in Spain is one heck of an opportunity.”
According to America’s Team Softball, Seals was chosen due to her athletic and academic accomplishments. Additionally, because the team only carries 12 players, the organization was looking for athletes who could play multiple positions and mix and match lineups.
Unfortunately, on the field, Seals has seen her playing time limited due to injuries. However, in the classroom, she has excelled, even after falling behind in classes as a junior after a car wreck forced her to miss school. She valued her classwork so much that she almost made the decision to give up her softball career.
“So I was staying after school with tutoring, making up class work, tests, homework and learning the lessons I missed,” Seals said. “That really had me worried because I had missed quite a bit of softball practices. I felt it was unfair to the other girls that I couldn’t make it. I actually felt a lot of stress that I had walked to Coach [Gary] Barfield and Coach [Robert] Barnes and told them I was quitting, while crying my eyes out. They understood and said school work is more important. So obviously I didn’t end up quitting. I was just really overwhelmed with all the work.”
That hard work payed off and Seals was able to get caught up on her classwork. On Feb. 11, Seals received a letter in the mail, letter her that she had been named to the National Society of High School Scholars.
“I value my work in school very much,” Seals said. “Ever since I was little, it has been a goal of mine to graduate with A’s and B’s and have some sort of stole or cords on my graduation gown. Needless to say, I reached that goal.”
This summer, Seals said that was looking forward to some premier players from across the country. However, she stated that it was the off the field activities that she was looking forward to the most.
“I was looking forward to parts where we would help other kids there that are less fortunate. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game and love to be on the diamond, but it’s always a blessing to be able to help others out. That would be the most important thing I was excited about.”
That should come as no surprise as Seals wants to become a first responder or a paramedic. She said her plan after graduating from Tullahoma High School later this month is to attend Motlow for a year, before heading to Cleveland State for her sophomore year.