PAINTSVILLE – If there were a photo beside the word of student athlete in the dictionary, Macailyn Pierce’s photo should appear.
All she does is win on the field of competition and, more importantly, in the classroom.
Pierce, 18, a junior at Johnson Central High School and member of the Early College Academy on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College, is a four-sport standout for the Golden Eagles.
Most high school students dream of playing in a state tournament. Pierce has accomplished that seven times, being a part of three softball regional titles (2012, 2013 and 2015), one soccer championship (2015) and one basketball crown (2015). She’s also won two individual regional championships in cross country (2014 and 2015). She was named Most Valuable Player in the 15th Region softball tournament in 2015
“I’ve not really thought that much about it,” said a modest Pierce. “I’m living in the moment, and I am sure I will look back one day and think about how blessed I was to be a part of so many special teams.”
Juggling a full college schedule, high school classes and athletics is perhaps Pierce’s best performance.
“I don’t get a break,” she said, smiling. “I go from one sport to another.”
Basketball season is wrapping up as teams across the Commonwealth begin district tournament play this week. Once the Lady Eagles’ post-season run ends, she’ll join her teammates on the softball field. She’ll play summer league softball and basketball before running cross country and playing soccer in the fall.
“Playing sports keeps me competitive and hungry to be the best I can be,” said Pierce. “It also teaches me the importance of teamwork and working together for one common goal.”
The team for Pierce all starts at home with her parents, Chris and Melissa Pierce.
“In our home, B’s are not acceptable,” Micailyn said. “My parents have taught me that my team, my school and myself deserve nothing but the very best I can offer.”
Micailyn will graduate high school next year with an Associate in Science degree. She plans to attend Morehead State University or Alice Lloyd College and major in education. She wants to return to Johnson Central and teach and coach softball.
The Early College Academy at BSCTC provided Micailyn the opportunity for her to attend college debt free and get a jump start on her college education. Graduating debt free is a priority.
“I don’t want to be saddled with student loan debt,” she added. “I hope to utilize transfer scholarships with Big Sandy and graduate debt free.”
Russell Halsey, principal at Johnson Central High School, said students like Micailyn are true student athletes.
“She’s a joy to be around,” he said. “She’s competitive in athletics, but even more competitive in the classroom. I have no doubt she’ll get what she wants in life because she is not afraid to work for it.”