High school seniors are missing some of the school traditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They won’t be walking across the stage for graduation, at least not as of now, sharing their brief message of thanks and what’s next.

The Big Bear Grizzly is spotlighting high school seniors during the next several months on our pages, helping to honor their accomplishments during the past 13 years.

Contact kportie.grizzly@gmail.com for your Big Bear High School or Chautauqua High School senior to be featured during the coming weeks.

Justyne Coyle

Sports have been an important part of Justyne Coyle’s high school life. So is family. Justyne’s hope is to work in public safety either as a police officer or dispatcher, following in the footsteps of several members of her family.

Justyne said she plans to move to Arizona after graduation and is looking at taking online classes. If she decides to go to college, she hopes to be able to continue to play softball, her favorite sport.

Justyne is a two-sport athlete at Big Bear High School, lettering in volleyball and softball. She earned first-team all-Cross Valley League honors this past fall in volleyball and participated in three CIF playoffs in the sport as a Lady Bear.

Justyne earned three varsity letters in softball and was second-team all-league as a sophomore and first-team all-league as a junior. She was also the co-team MVP last season.

In addition to sports, Justyne also participated in the annual Air Rock fundraiser at the school, helping raise money for the Seven Stars Foundation. One of her highlights in elementary school came in fourth grade when she won best of show at the science fair, Justyne said. “That was pretty cool.”

Big Bear softball coach Mary Schermer said Justyne is always there to keep the team at ease.

“Justyne is the sarcastic life of the party,” Schermer said. “Last year when we played Excelsior we had a little trouble, and I looked at Justyne to keep the group loose. She’s grown so much as a softball player. Since her sophomore season, she’s been one of our most consistent hitters.”

Justyne said high school has taught her to get things done and not procrastinate.

“I’m going to cherish all the memories,” she said.

Ashley Griffiths

After growing up around Big Bear High School sports because of her parents, Dave and Lisa, it comes as no surprise that Ashley Griffiths hopes to follow in the family business. After graduating high school in June, Ashley hopes to attend college at the University of Montana where she will major in athletic training.

Ashley is a three sport athlete at Big Bear High School where she lettered all four years in golf, soccer and softball.

Ashley was all-league first team all four years on the golf team, competing in CIF team and individual tournaments. She was all-league second team as a sophomore and all-league first team as a junior and senior in soccer. She was recently named Lady Bear of the Year by her soccer teammates.

Ashley earned all-league first team honors as a sophomore and junior in softball.

Ashley decided not to continue her athletic career in college. Instead, she plans to focus on obtaining her degree in athletic training.

“I will miss sports,” Ashley said. “It’s probably one of the reasons I’m choosing athletic training so that I can still be around sports. I want to take the high school path, maybe coach and do athletic training like my mom.”

Big Bear head softball coach Mary Schermer said Ashley is an all-around outstanding athlete who contributed to each of the sports she has played.

“Ashley has been able to handle the pressure since her freshman year,” Schermer said. “She knows how to play in really big games.”

Ashley said remote learning has been interesting. The most difficult has been AP biology. She takes the AP test online on May 18, she said.

Jada Hastings

Softball has always been Jada Hastings’ favorite sport. It’s something the Big Bear High School senior hopes to continue with in college.

Jada was scouted by San Bernardino Valley College earlier this season. She hopes to play college softball there next fall while majoring in biology.

At Big Bear High School Jada started out on the junior varsity team as a freshman, but moved up to varsity during the season. She was named freshman MVP and last year was selected the varsity team’s top defensive player.

Jada was selected to the second team all-Cross Valley League team as a junior.

While softball is one of Jada’s passions, so are animals. She hopes to become a veterinarian specializing in marine animals.

“I took a trip to Hawaii and found some injured turtles on the beach,” Jada said. After calling it in to authorities she spoke with marine biologists who came to rescue the animals. “I really liked what I saw,” Jada said.

Her ultimate goal is to finish her bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawaii.

One thing Jada said she will take away from high school is to work hard. “You don’t know how long you have,” Jada said. “Right now I want to keep my confidence up and my drive, to keep the same amount of passion for what I want to do.”

Big Bear softball coach Mary Schermer said hard work is something Jada did every day for the team. “She’s grown up to be an outstanding young lady,” Schermer said.

Despite the challenges of remote learning, Jada said she is doing well. “Still, some are challenging classes, but that’s the point,” Jada said.

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