For the third time in Juneau-Douglas history, the softball program has added an Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year to its record books.
Senior Brittany Fenumiai is the 2009 recipient of the award, which honors student athletes that perform exceptionally both in the arena of sports, and in the classroom.
Last year, Fenumiai was one of the best strikeout pitchers in the state, and as coach Dave Massey put it, was "one of the most feared pitchers in Alaska." She had an ERA of .70 with a 9-0 record, and batted .574.
"She was also one of the best hitters in the state, hitting with power and a high average. And defensively, she played her position almost flawlessly," Massey said. "She was capable playing multiple positions, and she did all that with a shoulder that had been injured in basketball that needed surgery at the end of the year.
"She's just a tough nut, and you can tell that she played football when she was a younger girl."
Fenumiai said her family, friends and coaches have been an intricate part of her development as both an athlete and a person.
"My coaches have coached me since the eighth grade, and my family has just motivated me and told me to work hard and to never slack or give up, and I never did that," Fenumiai said. "My team means a lot to me, and I've always been motivated to work hard for them."
Outside of softball, Fenumiai also played an important role on the varsity basketball teams that earned the Region V Championship during her freshman and sophomore years. When she graduates from JDHS, Fenumiai has big plans for the future.
"Hopefully, I will play basketball and maybe softball, and pursue a career in sports physical therapy and minor in sports psychology," she said.
Fenumiai said during her sophomore year at the state basketball tournament, coach Leslie Knight told the team to visualize what they wanted to accomplish, and that sparked an interest in the psychology of sports.
"It made me relax and it made me feel better about my game and my team, and it made me more confident," she said. "I just like helping people, too, and psychologists tend to do that, so it seems like something I'd want to do."
Fenumiai's love for softball began early, as it was the first sport she started playing competitively. And when her mother began coaching her, she became even more interested in the sport.
"I just loved being around people that made me happy, and softball does that for me," she said.
Fenumiai said she can't see herself anywhere other than Juneau. She hopes to be a physical therapist or a coach in basketball or softball. Whatever it may be, she wants to put all her hard work and dedication into her job.
Massey said Fenumiai has always been an outstanding person and a great asset to Juneau-Douglas athletics, as well as an outstanding student in the classroom.
"Brittany has been a quiet leader as one of the girls that works really hard and leads by example," he said. "She's going to be a great person, no matter what. She's a great athlete, and because she's got such a great work ethic, she'll be a success as a young woman later in life.
"She's a great kid, the kind of kid that you love having on your team, and she's the kind of kid that every parent would love to have as their child."
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