Mount Dora High School junior Blakely Kite is not your average student-athlete.
Blakely is a determined hard worker, juggling a demanding academic schedule, active participation in the school’s volleyball and softball program and a full-time job.
Despite her hectic schedule and just before the 2023 softball season, Blakely took a job at Chick-fil-A in Mount Dora to not only bring in extra income but to foster independence.
“I strive to become more independent. I wanted to learn more life skills as well as meeting new people. I also enjoy making money and eating their food,” says Blakely, who is also dual-enrolled at Lake-Sumter State College and on track to graduate high school with her associate degree.
Blakely remains goal-oriented, with aspirations of becoming a doctor.
“I am always competing against myself to do better, whether it be on the field or in the classroom. I have a long-term goal of being a doctor and it requires many years of hard work. I want to make my family proud of all the work I have done,” she explains.
Blakely is ranked sixth out of 300 students in her class and boasts an impressive 4.9 cumulative GPA.
Her dedication is further highlighted by her achievements on the softball field. Blakely emerged as one of Mount Dora High’s best softball players, leading the team with a remarkable .464 batting average. She contributed significantly with 26 hits and showcased her speed, scoring more than 33 runs during the 2023 season.
Despite facing challenges in the past, including a diagnosis of Sever’s disease that caused her extreme pain in her heel, Blakely never relented and has focused on being the best she can be.
Blakely acknowledges the support of her coaches and credits the turnaround of the Mount Dora softball program to Head Coach Mike Ganus and assistants Adrianna Newkirk and Matthew McDaniel.
As Blakely continues her academic and athletic journey, her determination and achievements promise a bright future.