Six Spartans recognized for efforts
After a successful 2023 campaign when the Exira-EHK Spartans won 22 games, including a 4-2 first round tournament win against the Audubon Wheelers and a 3-2 second round tournament victory over the Woodbine Tigers, six Spartans were presented all conference awards.
Seniors Shay Burmeister and Quinn Grubbs, and eighth grader Riley Miller made 1st Team. Eighth grader Taryn Petersen made 2nd Team and Junior Hannah Nelson and Sophomore Harlee Fahn received honorable mention in the Rolling Valley.
“It’s always pretty special to get your name on that list,” Burmeister said. “I know a lot of people don’t like softball and baseball because it takes up a lot of your summer, but I love the game and I love the sport, so I was willing to do anything for my team and I think the time and commitment I put into it led to that.”
Burmeister led the team in hits with 32, batting .421 with 31 runs scored and 23 runs batted in. Her love for softball goes back to when she was little.
“Softball, I’ve played since I was really young,” she said. “It’s been there in my life. I’ve kind of known sports my entire life, so I’ve created a lot of great memories.”
Burmeister credits her teammates, both past and present for her success, as well as her coaching staff.
“It’s definitely like a sisterhood,” she added. “We all get along and spend a lot of time together, especially coming from a small school. I feel like that almost helps our team become a team, is just that bond that we have.”
With her high school days behind her, Burmeister talked about what she’ll miss most about her time playing Spartans softball along with life lessons she’ll carry with her in her future.
“I like being on a team because you always have people that have your back and they’re willing to be there just as much as you are,” Burmeister said. “The hard work ethic. Nothing is going to get handed to you, so if you want to go far in life, you need to put time in and get it done.”
Burmeister’s family has given her much support throughout her sporting endeavors, particularly her dad, Shane, who has helped her in softball.
“My family has definitely been there through it all,” she said. “My dad, honestly, deserves most of the credit for my softball career because he was always willing to take me down to the field, getting me some extra cuts and taking some ground balls. He has a lot of knowledge about the game, so he gets a lot of credit for that. My mom, brother and sister, they always give me so much support, so that doesn’t go unnoticed, either.”