Indian River alum goes big time

There’s just something special about the “local kid done good” story. And this one’s pretty special.

Abi Buchler, who graduated Indian River High School just last year, is now a member of the Messiah College softball team. On Monday, Messiah won the Division III national championship, with freshman Abi Buchler starting at second base and leading things off for the line-up.

Buchler’s success should not be an overwhelming surprise to those who know her. She served as captain of last year’s Lady Indians team, as well as valedictorian of her entire senior class — two roles that personify leadership and expectations of excellence.

But even Buchler was a little surprised.

“This season’s been nothing like I expected,” Buchler said after winning the championship. “I was just hoping to come in and play. It’s incredible to be able to go this far.”

The team has no seniors on its current roster and will bring the national champions back intact next season. That is reason enough for optimism from Buchler.

“We’re not losing much,” explained Buchler, “so we could be seeing another repeat. The team works well with the coaches, and we’re all determined to get better.”

As great as her individual accomplishments have been, one has to also admire her even keel, and appreciation of her teammates and coaches. Buchler’s already accomplished enough to make this entire community proud. The exciting news is that she seems more than capable of continuing her role as a ray of light long into the future.

Memorial Day Weekend is the semi-official start to the season around here, and we’re all hoping it’s a good one for the community.

Let’s all put forth our collective best foot this summer, and present a community to our visitors that is friendly, helpful and fun. We all benefit by vacationers enjoying their time while they’re here, and we also benefit by enjoying ourselves over the summer months.

Happy Memorial Day, and remember our fallen veterans.