Lady Chiefs clinch 5A District title

On front row from left are Izzy Friday, Kaden Whitehead, Linda Ransfer, Lindsey Hargis, Maddie Robinson, Natalie Spillman, Catherine Stokes, Jazmine Booker, Alannah Bynog, Sadie Spillman and Assistant Coach Kelsey Gallman. On back row are Dyson Peddy, Kylie Herring, Detra Jackson, Paige Shirley, Kristalyn Edwards, Josie Fontenot, Annie Broadway, Caylyn Peddy, Desi Robinson, Abbey Beville, Morgan Dawson, Aubrey Houghtby and manager Travis Rachal. Coaches are Trenton Smith, Dewayne Brossette and Head Coach Ronnie Ables

The Significant Seven earn championships a decade apart

“We can’t wait until they meet up again in high school,” or “this group is special;” these were the two most commonly spoken statements when talking about those six year old, wiggly toothed, braided pigtail girls after the summer of 2011. That summer would be the first of many for them. The beginning of countless hours on the field, cracked bats, smelly socks and one batting or pitching lesson after another, but most importantly memories and bonding. After a successful 2011 T-ball season, Mo, Cat, Dez, Maddie and Aubrey went home with their very first trophies as Dixie Youth state runners-up.

This is where their journeys on the diamond began, only to add Natalie and Jasmine to the mix in 2013 and 14. The diamond is where these girls would put the world aside and battle inning after inning working together like a well oiled machine. “Keep them together for as long as you can, they’ve got something special,” and that’s what they did. Even though these seven would eventually part ways and play for different middle schools, junior high schools and even travel ball teams that placed them as opponents, one thing remained constant, their bond.  From 2011 until now, their dedication to the diamond continues to shine.

Shown are Natalie Spillman, Catherine Stokes, Desi Robinson, Morgan Dawson, Madi Robinson and Aubrey Houghtby

The Significant Seven are Catherine Stokes, a solid second baseman turning double plays on a dime, and holding down shortstop in a pinch; Morgan Dawson, owning the hot corners; Aubrey Houghtby, a brick wall behind the plate; Maddie Robinson, dominating as a pitcher and never yielding at short stop; Dezi, the lefty first baseman with raw talent and an outfielder’s arm like no other; Natalie Spillman, saving balls at first in a split second; and Jasmine Booker, small but mighty and fast like lightning in the outfield.

As the years passed, time eventually led these seven back together. Each would bring their own parts to that once well oiled machine and put it back together as high schoolers. The time had come that their parents knew was possible, it is their time to shine together as one. It wasn’t easy. Two years, 2019 and 20, had their own obstacles with injuries and a pandemic, but these girls never wavered. Spring of 2021, 10 years later they did it again. It was a repeat of their distant six-year-old selves.

This article published in the Weekend, April 3-4, 2021, print edition

These seven, along with the rest of their NCHS team, faced the competition together, trusted each other’s abilities and used their countless hours on the field and at the plate to become what they believed they could, the 5A District Champions and history makers of NCHS softball program. Submitted by Veronica Conley