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Athlete of the Week: Charla Clifton

Charla Clifton, a Swainsboro native, is a force to be reckoned with on the softball field. Clifton is in 10th grade at Emanuel County Institute, which she has attended since pre-K. She pitches, plays short stop, and third base.

“I’ve been playing softball my whole life, and I’ve always had a love for the game,” said Clifton.

Softball has always played a huge part of her life. Her family is supportive of her softball career and attend most games that she participates in. “My family is very supportive,” said Clifton. “They always encourage me and challenge me to be the best I can be.” From when she first started t-ball, they have followed and supported her throughout her softball career and will continue to do so.

She also has great coaches that teach her the fundamentals to grow her skill of the game. Frank Wimberly is EC’s head softball coach and pushes Clifton to be the best that she can be.

Apart from being on the ECI softball team, Clifton plays travel ball throughout the year to grow her talents. During her travel ball season, Clifton is coached by Jack Barfield and Emily Herren. She says she does not have a favorite coach because all of her coaches push her to use fundamentals that better her performances throughout the year. “All of my coaches are tough on me, but they hold me accountable and push me to be a better person on and off the field,” said Clifton.

Last year’s softball season was extra special for Clifton and her team. ECI advanced to the Final 4, and the game that allowed them to advance to Final 4 was the most memorable moment for Clifton. “One of my most favorite memories from last season was when we played against Ace Charter to see who would advance to the Final 4 in the state playoffs,” said Clifton. “The whole game was intense and kept everyone on the edge of their seats, and the whole team came together and left it all on the field.”

In the future, Clifton plans on furthering her softball career by playing at the next level. “My main goal is to play collegiate softball.”

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