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By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(May 12, 2024 7:30 AM ET) Columbia Central High School student Ayrianne Gaskill said to be good at anything you need to be disciplined and have focus.

The CCHS senior is proving that on the tennis court and in the skies above Jackson.

Gaskill is mere hours away from obtaining a pilots license and is 9-1 as the No. 1 singles player for the Golden Eagles.

Not bad for someone who just moved to the area less than a year ago and has yet to graduate from high school.

Gaskill moved to Brooklyn last summer and has not looked back.

“It was an adjustment (moving to another school district and state her senior year) but it is so much fun,” Gaskill said. “I am glad I made the decision.”

Gaskill made friends on the volleyball court last fall and is meeting a new group of friends this spring on the tennis court. CCHS is enjoying one of its best seasons on the court with an 8-1-1 record.

She has only one loss this season at the No. 1 singles position.

“My serve is the best part of my game,” Gaskill said. “I love to slice the ball … depending on my opponent.”

The Golden Eagles defeated Lumen Christi to begin the season but lost to Lansing Catholic later in the season.

Both teams are in the regional tournament this Wednesday hosted by Lumen Christi – the dominant team in the region the last dozen years. Tournament matches will be split between the courts at Parkside and Lumen Christi.

“It (the Division 4 regional) is going to be tough … it will take a lot of hard work,” Gaskill said. “I think we can do well.”

Gaskill started playing tennis four years ago in Fremont, Ind., at the urging of her brother. She worked over the summer before her freshman year and learned to love the game.

Her other love is flying. Gaskill’s grandfather works as a commercial pilot and her father is an aviation mechanic.

She began studying to become a pilot at Flight School of Jackson last fall. On Friday she took her first solo flight as a pilot.

“It was a nice day, and it was very cool in the air,” Gaskill said. “I have been infatuated with flying for years.”

Gaskill plans to attend Metropolitan State University in Denver to become a pilot. Here ultimate goal is to become a commercial pilot like her grandfather.

“I want to obtain my pilot’s license before I go to college,” Gaskill said.

She has enjoyed her season at CCHS developing new friendships on and off the court. Gaskill will graduate Columbia Central with a 3.9 grade point average.

“Sports has been a good bonding experience,” Gaskill said. “You become a family with your teammates for a short time.”

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