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Olympic's Varady moves on
Kira Varady is always on the move, both on the softball diamond and at home.
The Olympic High School senior, who will graduate Saturday night, spent her childhood in five different cities across the country. Her father, Jeff, is a retired helicopter pilot for the Navy, which meant the family relocated often while Varady was in school.
But the one constant for Varady that made life a little easier through the transitions was playing softball.
“It’s a reminder of home and it’s definitely helped me,” said Varady, who played four years with the Olympic fastpitch team. “It was something I found at a young age and I fell in love. The field is like a home to me.”
Varady started playing softball when she was 4 years old. Her sister, Sarah, also played fastpitch for the Trojans and their father loved baseball, so continuing the tradition was easy for the Olympic senior shortstop.
However, the constant cross-country trips were not as effortless.
Varady was born in Monterey, Calif., before the family moved to Virginia Beach, Va. Shortly after, they headed back west to San Diego, then Tampa Bay and finally, East Bremerton, where she has spent the last seven years.
The fastpitch standout remembers the difficult task of saying goodbye to her friends every three years.
“Three years was just enough time to build those close relationships and become used to a place,” Varady said. “It was really tough, especially when I was little.”
In August, Varady will move yet again. This time, she’s going to college.
Varady will attend Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho this fall. Her sister also attended the school and played softball, but Varady, who will study nursing, isn’t sure if she wants to continue competing.
For now, Varady is thinking about enjoying her summer before bidding farewell to her friends, which at this point, she knows how to handle.
“It’s super scary, but I’m ready for a new chapter in my life,” Varady said.
Looking back at Olympic fastpitch
While reflecting last week on her high school fastpitch career, Varady didn’t hesitate to talk about what Athletic Director Nate Andrews and coach Dusty Anchors have called the most memorable moment in team history.
“I’ll never forget it,” said Varady, referring to Olympic’s 10-9 comeback win against Sumner High School in the district tournament last month. “To this day, it still gives me goosebumps. It was so unreal.”
Olympic trailed 9-2 with two outs in the last inning before scoring eight unanswered runs to win and advance to the state tournament for the first time in the program’s history.
Anchors said Tuesday that he will miss Varady’s leadership next season. He added that her confidence will carry her in the future.
“I wish all the kids had the same work ethic that Kira has on and off the field,” Anchors said. “She will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and she’s meant a whole lot to this program.”
Despite helping turn the softball team into a contender, while also playing volleyball in the fall and earning a 4.0 grade-point average, Varady’s friend, Kristin Duprie, said that her best friend of six years hasn’t changed.
“She cares so much about everyone and it makes me better as a person,” said Duprie, who attends church and youth groups with Varady. “If anything, she’s become sweeter and more understanding of people.”
Varady credits her academic and athletic success to her parents, Jeff and Tina, who have provided the senior with support.
Varady said at least one parent has attended all of her fastpitch games, and win or lose, they still cheer for their daughter.
“I don’t think I would be here without them,” she said. “It’s hard to get through a tough situation without someone there to pick you up.”