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Hartselle Enquirer

Senior Spotlight: Falkville’s Braden Burnett

With the cancellation of the spring sports season, the Enquirer is spotlighting senior athletes from its coverage area with Q-and-A stories. We’ll look to touch base with many more seniors over the next few weeks.

Braden Burnett is a senior pitcher for the Falkville Blue Devils. He has been a part of the program since his eighth-grade year.

Burnett was the leader and heart and soul of the Blue Devils. Coming off a junior year where they advanced to the second round of the playoffs, Falkville was primed to make a run this season.

Unfortunately for Burnett, the season became his second consecutive season cut short. He suffered a season-ending arm injury during his junior year and now has seen his senior season cut short due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The AHSAA moved to cancel the spring sports season on March 27th after Governor Kay Ivey announced on March 26th that schools would be canceled for the remainder of the school year.

Cullen Donahoo, a teammate of Braden said that it was an honor to get to play with Braden for his last year.

“I am hurt that he doesn’t get to finish the sport he’s put so much time and effort into,” Donahoo said of Burnett.

The Enquirer spoke with Burnett about his baseball career and the disappointment he has experienced due to the cancellation of his season.

Q: When did you get started playing baseball?

A: From the time I was old enough to pick up a bat and ball. I started T-Ball at the age of 3.

Q: When did you know you wanted to play for the Blue Devils?

A: I played my first two years at Priceville in Rec League, but when I started school I played for Falkville. I played a lot of travel ball also, but I always knew I would be a Falkville Blue Devil when school ball came around. They are my family.

Q: What was it like waiting for your moment to come?

A: I feel like my moment was somewhat taken away this year by COVID-19. My goal was to make All-State and now that will never happen. However, I have been blessed to be the starting pitcher for FHS since ninth grade. The past 4 years have been amazing. This year was going to be our year as a team. We were bound for great things!

Q: What were your thoughts when you got the news that your season had come to a close, long before you had planned?

A: I believe instead of stressing over the things I cannot change or get back, I will focus on the blessings the 10 games we were able to play this year brought me. One being Coach Ward. This was his first year as our Coach and in a very short time, he made us a family. He has truly been an inspiration to all of us. Second, I was able to play those games with my brother Caden. That is something I will always treasure. I also hit my first home run this year. Last, but certainly not least, with the help of so many amazing people, we were able to have senior day at our last game. So with all that is going on, there is always something good you can focus on.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: My plans are to attend Calhoun in the Fall. I will be taking two years of Auto Cad Drafting and then work on getting a bachelors degree in Aerospace Technology. I would also love to play baseball for the Warhawks.

Q: What is one thing that you would like to say to your teammates and coaches?

A: Thank you to my Coach, to my team/brothers. You guys made this year amazing!! I will be your biggest fan next year and for the years to come!! Forever a Blue Devil!!