By Sue Moore
Playing softball has been a way of life for Vicksburg High School Senior Kali Yant since she was a little girl. Next year she will take her skills to Calvin College’s team, one that already boasts another Vicksburg player from the class of 2018, Grace Stock.
Yant started when she was 7 in Vicksburg Little League where her dad, Donnie Yant, was the coach. He owned Prime Time Sports Academy in Schoolcraft until he sold it in April 2018. “Are you working hard when nobody’s looking?” asked her dad each day. “If you are, you will have a better shot at success.”
Softball Coach Paul Gephart said that Kali abided by this dictum from the moment she started on the varsity as a freshman. “I’ll do whatever you want me to do to help the team,” she told Gephart as he moved her around from third base, second base and starting pitcher. “She has had the highest batting average on the team with runners in scoring position and two outs,” he said. “She is capable of playing any position even while working through a back injury. ‘Just don’t take me out,’ she kept telling me.”
Yant has played travel softball on the Smiley Verduzco team, nicknamed the Rebels, when she was 17. Until then, she played for Prime Time where her dad was the coach. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1994 as did her mom, Lori Tigchon, who owns First Impressions Salon & Spa in Portage. Kali carries a 3.9 GPA with lots of advanced placement classes on her resume. She plans to study nursing as her major while at Calvin. She works at Erbelli’s Pizza on Portage Road in the off season.