Glynn Academy’s Kamila Vicente has earned a lot of praise for her senior season with the Lady Terrors. She earned first-team all-region honors and set several pitching records for the school. Vicente is even taking her talents to University of South Carolina Upstate, but there is something more important to headline.

Before starting her senior season, Kamila and her family traveled to Puerto Rico to try out for the Puerto Rican 18U Pan American Softball team. With 95 girls eyeing for limited roster spots, Kamila was selected as one of four pitchers on the roster.

“I think it’s awesome,” Kamila said. “Puerto Rico is a very small country, and they don’t have a lot of stuff going for them. I think being a part of something so big like that, it’s a huge honor. Especially being born there and it’s a big honor to be able to represent my country.”

Vicente has worked 11 hard years, with her dad David Vicente being by her side every day.

“Well it’s very tedious work and a lot of dedication from both,” David said. “Her wanting to do it and me being able to help her out throughout the process. Eleven years is a long time. Sitting on the bucket and catching for her this whole time I feel like I’m a pitcher too, I can be a pitching coach myself.”

As softball became more and more important for Kamila with being on a travel ball team and becoming recruited, the relationship was tested between a father and his daughter. For David, he made sure to give his daughter the right decisions and help guide her.

“I was able to help out a lot since she is able to get instant feedback from a different perspective,” David said. “For me as a father wanting the best thing for her, I’m not going to lie to her.”

A fine balance was worked out between David and Kamila, to give her an opportunity to still be a kid and not solely an athlete that is working hard to achieve her dreams.

“One thing that I was always told was, you need to remember that she is a child first,” David said. “If you can have a balance between the sport itself and her being a child. Being able to do sleepovers, pizza parties, doing all these fun things at the same time, that’s what creates this great balance.

“Throughout my years I’ve seen a lot of girls that will drop off the sport for the mere fact that it is so much pressure... I always step back and say how much we did this month, OK let’s go-to Universal. Let’s do something to maintain that balance so she can keep her sanity and that way she knows after the hard work, there is always a compensation for it.”

Kamila is preparing to take the mound in Cali, Colombia for her national team and face off against some of the best softball team’s in the 2021 Pan American Games. She wants to represent Puerto Rico and compete in every game.

“I just want to play my hardest and do the best I can for Puerto Rico and for my team,” Kamila said. “We are still not going to go in there scared because the girls are better than a lot of us. We are still going to go and play our hardest. I just want to lead my country as far as we possibly can.”

With her parents in the stands and cheering her on every second, this will be a big dress rehearsal for Kamila as she heads to Upstate in 2022.

“I have no doubt,” David said about Kamila showcasing her skills. “I always tell her that we are going to do something. I just want to make sure she knows that when we get on that plane that (she) gave me 100 percent. Whatever the outcome happens to be, i’m still going to be proud of you because I know you gave me 100 percent all the time.”

The softball portion of the Cali Valle 2021 Junior Pan American Games begins on Saturday with Puerto Rico taking on Venezuela.

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