Kayley DeVivi still has one more season of softball at Tunstall High School, but she is bursting with anticipation for what comes next.
The two-time first-team all-state outfielder in Class 3A used part of Wednesday to sign her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Longwood University in Farmville, bringing a long-awaited end and celebration to the recruiting process.
“It’s been very sad but very happy too,” she said of the emotions felt Wednesday. “I’m so thankful [to continue playing]. ... It really, really, really, really excites me. I can barely wait to leave. I’m counting down the days.”
DeVivi decided on Longwood for college based on the school’s competitiveness in the Division I Big South Conference and the connections she felt she could make with the team’s coaches.
“What sold me was the way the coaches feel about all of their players individually,” she said. “They have a relationship that most people don’t have with their players.”
Caine DeVivi, Kayley’s father and head coach at Tunstall, said he was grateful to see his daughter have the opportunity to further her playing career, and he called coaching her “a joy.”
“She’s been an honor to coach,” he said. “She works hard. She’s the definition of a true teammate. She’s the epitome of what any coach would want to coach.”
When she was much younger, Kayley followed her father to games and practices at George Washington High School and later at Tunstall, building their bond and her love of the sport.
“He’s had one of the greatest impacts out of everybody around me,” she said. “It’s going to be very, very, very hard letting go of him as a coach.”
They still have one more season together, however, and she hopes to make it a memorable one.
“Last year, we won the district championship, so this year we’re striving for the same thing,” she said.