ATHENS — Amelia “Mimi” Martin recently graduated from Athens Area High School — and just a few weeks before that she helped the Lady Wildcats earn a share of the Northern Tier League Division I softball championship.
The 2019 AHS grad had another big moment on Thursday as she made her college choice official.
Martin will be taking her talent — both academic and athletic — to the next level as she has decided to head to Elmira College to play both softball and volleyball.
“I was looking at a few things when I was picking a college. A few of those were how close it was to home. I wanted to stay really close. I wanted to play two sports, softball and volleyball, and I wanted it to be a smaller college. Elmira had all of that,” Martin said after a signing ceremony held at Athens’ Spaulding Memorial Library on Thursday.
Playing one sport while also attending college classes can be difficult. Trying to juggle two sports and the work in the classroom will be even more of a challenge for Martin. But her high school and travel coaches in attendance at Thursday’s signing believe she is one of the people that can handle it.
“She’s just a great kid. The best thing about her is her work ethic. There’s a reason why she’s going to college to play volleyball and softball,” said Athens softball coach Mickey Farrell. “She’s a great kid to be around. Her work ethic is just off the charts. She just comes every day, does what she needs to do and that’s how she leads. She leads by example. She doesn’t need to talk. She just leads by the way she goes about doing things.”
John Barnes, who has coached Martin in travel softball for six years, echoed Farrell’s sentiment.
“I think Mimi sees the big picture and knows the work that she puts in now will pay off in the end. She sees the light at the end of the tunnel,” Barnes said.
Martin knows it will be a challenge, but she’s ready to do the work.
“A lot of people told me it would be hard with time management, but it’s definitely workable,” said Martin, who hit .312 in her senior season with 15 runs scored, 13 RBIs, six doubles and three home runs as she helped the Wildcats have a big year.
Bri Black, who was Martin’s travel volleyball coach, thinks the college coaches will love working with the Athens grad.
“I think she works really well as a teammate. She’s really hardworking. She’s always willing to take feedback. Always willing to make changes that are necessary to be successful. She never is critical of any feedback that she receives, so she’s very coachable, very easy to kind of grow with and teach,” Black said.
Barnes believes Martin’s versatility will be an asset for her at the next level.
“She’s a player that you put her in a practice in one position and now she could be the starting shortstop,” Barnes said. “You put her in centerfield and now she’s your best centerfielder. She really is a diverse player. She just needs to believe in herself and trust in her abilities and I think she can play at any level.”
Martin, who will major in math, is planning on using that versatility to her advantage — both on the court and the field.
“(The Elmira coaches) haven’t really mentioned any (specific positions), but I feel like I’m kinda of a utility player for both,” Martin said.