On Aug. 2, Brush Prairie softball player Maleya Burns earned 2021-22 All-America Scholar Athlete honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). She is currently a senior on the Rambelles softball team at Angelo State University in Texas.
Burns feels honored to receive the award. It is given to student athletes who maintain a 3.5 GPA throughout the academic year.
“It feels pretty good, because I spend a lot of time balancing between sports and school, pretty much the majority of college,” Burns said. “It’s good that something shows for it at the end of the year. My parents are really proud of it, so it’s nice.”
She said she enjoys her school, noting how different Texas is from Washington.
“I think it’s fun experiencing a whole new state and everything different about it. The weather is different, the people are a lot different and stuff like that, so I think it’s really fun being there experiencing new things,” she said.
Some of the notable differences she spotted were more definable accents in Texas and the barbecue food. Although she loves Washington and plans to move back after college, Burns was drawn to Angelo State because of the friendly atmosphere and the “super competitive” softball program. She is a double major in psychology and criminal justice.
“My coach is a really competitive guy and he pushes us to do our best, which I really like about the program,” Burns said. “Our last season, we ended on a good note … We have a lot of good chemistry and stuff like that. The program is really focused on tradition and family, and trying to keep that going for the next people coming in and stuff.”
She said her softball team is also seventh in the nation this year.
“It’s really great. We put in so much time and effort into softball, and so for that to come out of it is really good,” she said.
Burns’ coach, Travis Scott, is proud of her accomplishments as well.
“It’s an academic-first honor, (for) any kid I think it is a 3.5 GPA for the entire school year gets the award,” Scott said. “We had I think eight players off our 17-player roster that earned that honor, which is awesome. Maleya’s just been a great student. She works hard. It was nice to see her get that award … To recognize her for what she’s done in the classroom, that was pretty cool.”
Since Burns was in college when the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic took place, he said she was eligible to take a fifth year at the school. Scott took note of her abilities as a player and teammate.
“It’s just been nice to watch her maturity and her work ethic get better and better, and take responsibility,” Scott said. “She just does all the things that you want out of a student athlete, and she’s grown into more of a leadership role. You just watch her confidence speaking up when it’s appropriate to speak up. It’s been great to watch her growth over the years.”
He also said Burns has “a bit of a quirky personality” and a good sense of humor.
“She’s one of those that everybody likes. As much as these athletes are around each other, if you’re able to get your teammates on board and have a good relationship with your teammates, that obviously makes everything a lot easier, and she’s been able to accomplish that,” he said.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here