BY MALIA LAHEY
CCHS prides itself on having outstanding student athletes. Many CCHS students participate in team or individual sports as a way to get involved in the community. However, for freshman Kailyn Echevarria, or as some of her teammates call her, KK, athletics are everything.
As a freshman, Echevarria landed herself a starting position on both the girls varsity basketball and varsity flag football team.
“I started playing basketball at 5 and started playing competitively at age seven. I started playing because my mom wanted to put me in sports because of my ADHD and it was a way to help me cope,” Echevarria said. “It allowed me to let my energy out and be myself but I ended up really loving it and the rest is history.”
Echevarria began playing flag football in 7th grade at Driftwood Middle School, then joined a co-ed league to play 5v5. She currently plays travel at South Florida Elite Flag Football.
“My favorite aspect of basketball is the emotion that comes from the game,” Echevarria said. “It makes it special when everyone on your team gives their all to win.”
Many of Echevarria’s friends and teammates say that they have enjoyed playing with her in the short time she’s been here at CCHS.
“KK [Kailyn] is a great team player and all-around person,” Junior Yanei Honan said. “She always puts all her effort into everything she does. She’s a great asset on the team and it’s been great having her and being able to play with her.”
Honan played both basketball and flag football with Echevarria and has said that she “always knows how to make me laugh, she’s a great person and amazing teammate.”
Echevarria says she’s learned a lot from playing at CCHS so far.
“I’ve learned to humble myself more as a player because I know I’m a freshman on varsity and I know it is because of my skill but that skill didn’t come overnight in both basketball and football. I worked extremely hard but there is always more work to be done,” Echevarria said. “Another thing is not letting any coaches get in the way of my love for the game or get in my head.”
Echevarria believes that focus and hardwork are key to becoming a great player. She averaged about 10 points per game and totaled about 60 points during her freshman basketball season. She averages the highest number of receptions according to Maxpreps.com.
“KK strives to be the best no matter who or what stands in her way. She trains inside and outside of school and that is reflected on the field/court,” Junior Jess Deese said. Deese has also played both basketball and flag football with Echevarria.
“She’s a very hard worker, she pushes herself even when no one is watching. She is so fun to be around and I always know it’s going to be a good time when KK’s around,” Deese said. “I’m 100% sure everyone on the team agrees that KK is a very kind and considerate person.”
Echevarria is described as a hardworking athlete on and off the field and a great person to be around. Freshman Ava Alvarez has been playing flag football with Echevarria since she began at age 13.
“KK is the most caring and loving individual I have ever met. She will fight for the people she loves and that’s what makes her so special,” Alvarez said. “KK [Kailyn] is always there to cheer people up when they are down, especially me. Many people think she’s intimidating when she’s really just a big goofball.”