AOTW: Gracen Staunton, sophomore softball player

The Beacon: Female Athlete of the Week 2/19 – 3/11 Why Gracen Staunton was selected: Gracen Staunton picked up three complete game victories with a 3.15 ERA during the softball’s spring break trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C.


Alex Kielar

Gracen Staunton, sophomore softball player

Name: Gracen Staunton

Year: Sophomore

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Kernersville, N.C.

High School: Northwest Guilford HS

Position: Pitcher/Infield

Driving force for your decision to come to Wilkes? 

I was always intrigued by this state and its history. This school stood out to me because of the small classroom setting and I was able to pursue my passion in softball.

Post graduation plans in terms of a career? 

Go to graduate school for occupational therapy.

Favorite building on campus?

The MAC because of Starbucks.

Hopes for this season as a Colonel?

My goal for the season is to always end the season with a win as a whole team.

When/Why did you first begin playing?

Ever since I could remember I grew up around my brother and sister who were involved in multiple sports. I started playing T-ball around the age of 4 years old. In the beginning I never liked the idea of playing softball, but I started softball at the age of 8. As I got older I began to actually enjoy softball and never stopped playing since. In the start of kid pitch, our team did not have a pitcher so, one day at practice my coach asked who would do it and with no thought behind it, I raised my hand. After my decision my dad would always go in the back yard and work with me and when he saw that I was not going to quit, he allowed me to get lessons with Coach Judy, my pitching coach. This is when I decided that this sport was for me so I continued to get better so I could eventually play for a college team.

If you could have dinner with a famous person from the past, who would it be?  

Neil Armstrong.

A quote you live your life by?

Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous.

Favorite thing to do during practice? 

My favorite thing to do in practice is when we play mini games in which pitchers team up and win the offensive and defensive drills.

If you had to choose one thing about your program that you could improve, what would it be?

I would continue to do my best to improve my skills each and everyday I show up.

Other interests or hobbies off of the field?  

Play basketball, take car rides around the area and perfecting my napping between classes and practice

Most influential person in your life?

It is hard to just pick one person who had a huge influence on my life. I believe that my brother, 2 sisters, mom and dad had the most influence on my life. Ever since I went off to school 8 hours away, I can only think how much they have prepared me to go out in the world. I know they always have my back and I will continue to do everything I can to make them proud.

What does “Be Colonel” mean to you?

To me “Be Colonel” means to be Courageous, Optimistic, Limitless, Open-minded, Nurturing, Educative, and a Leader.

Coke or Pepsi? 

Sweet tea.

Favorite meal to eat on campus? 

Waffles with chocolate chips for breakfast.

Favorite professor?

Dr. Tindell

Anyone to give a shout-out to?

My family who are all the way in North Carolina and all the people who allowed for me to grow on and off the field.