April 30, 2024

Mount Dora Christian Academy Softball Star Carrying on a Legacy of Athletic Excellence and Character

1.9 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Mount Dora Christian Academy Softball Star Carrying on a Legacy of Athletic Excellence and Character

1.9 min read| Published On: April 30th, 2024|

Katie Bayly 

Katie Bayly is one of the most exciting sophomore female athletes in Lake County. 

A four-sport athlete who competes in soccer, weightlifting, softball and volleyball, Katie is no stranger to athletic prowess. And she gets it honest: Katie’s father, James Bayly, was the softball coach for Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs for 10 years. 

Katie grew up around softball diamonds, where she fell in love with the sport she’s played since she was 4. 

Katie plays infield and second base now, but she knows just about every position between the foul lines. She was so good at softball that she played on varsity as an 8th-grader for Mount Dora Christian Academy. She showed she belonged by slashing a .461 average. The next season, as a freshman, she hit at a .455 clip. She scored 37 runs both of those years and combined for over 81 hits and 30 RBIs her first two years playing varsity. 

Currently, Katie is wrapping up her sophomore year of softball and will certainly be one to watch out for over the next couple of years. 

Katie attributes her success to her late aunt, longtime Pinellas County softball coach Kaylyn Bayly, who was a driving force in her life. Kaylyn passed away in 2022, leaving a legacy of teaching student/athletes that being a person of good character and integrity is the most important thing in life. She also encouraged her players to embrace diversity and value their relationships. Kaylyn demonstrated and taught the definition of respect to the fullest. 

Katie lives by those creeds and uses them as motivation every time she plays a sport. 

“My aunt meant everything to me,” Katie says. “When we lost her, it was a difficult time, but I play for her and remember everything she ever taught me. It gives me motivation to go out and play my hardest no matter what.” 

Katie takes a leadership role in every sport she plays. That’s something that her aunt Kaylyn instilled in her at a young age. 

“Playing four sports makes getting schoolwork done imperative,” Katie says. “I make time for schoolwork, be it on the bus, at night or anytime I have free time. It’s not always easy, but academics are incredibly important. I work just as hard at sports as I do in the classroom.” 

Katie enjoys spending time with friends, shopping and hanging out with family when she’s not competing. 

The Bayly family is very close. Katie’s father James teared up when he spoke about his late sister.

“Katie reminds me so much of Kaylyn. She is like a mirror image of her,” James says. “She meant everything to so many people and when we lost her it was a difficult time. But when people meet Katie, they see so much of what Kaylyn represented that lives on within her.” 

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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