CAIRO, Ga. (WTXL) — The Cairo softball team's season came to an end Wednesday afternoon with two losses to Islands in the super regionals. With the loss comes the end of senior Navayah Johnson's time in a Syrupmaker uniform, but it's a time she'll never forget, and one she earned through hard work and dedication.
"For them to see her coming in as an average player, and to see her putting in the work and to see what she's become has been tremendous from a younger person's standpoint," said head coach Randy Adams of Johnson.
A region title. A deep postseason run. For Johnson, it's all she could ask for in her final season.
"This has been a good opportunity, and it's the most I've played and I feel really awesome about it."
"Her sophomore year, she came on the scene, and struggled," remembered Adams. "This year, to really see the growth, her approach has gotten tremendously better."
Growth that's led the Syrupmakers all season.
"It's a lot of pressure and work, but I do it," she said. "I help them a lot, they help me a lot. I try to put in as much as I can to help them."
As hard as she's worked on the field, she's worked just as hard in the classroom, sporting a 3.4 GPA.
"She's understood that if she wants to progress in this game and have an opportunity to get her school paid for, she had to keep her grades up," said Adams.
"It's kind of hard!" laughed Johnson of keeping up her grades. "We get out of school early and everything, and I'll have to make up work and everything. It's kind of difficult, but I make it up and stay after school and get extra work."
Extra work that Johnson doesn't mind taking on.
"I am taking it up a notch," she said. "I'm trying to help the team out as much as I can because it's my last year. Even though it's hard sometimes, I push myself."
"She goes about her business, and she handles her business the right way," added Adams. "She's going to be successful with whatever she does. I'm excited to see what it leads into."
It all started on the Syrupmaker softball field. Johnson said she does want to play softball at the next level, where she'll study to become a veterinarian.