Do you believe in magic? If you didn’t before you would now if you watched the 2021 Quitman Lady Wolverines softball team this season who took their fans on a magical journey’s that culminated in a trip to Sulphur to play in the LHSAA Class B state softball tournament.
Why so magical? It certainly wasn’t because of smoke, mirrors and misdirection. What made this season so magical is the fact that it is believed that never before in the history of Jackson Parish has a team so young accomplished so much. Playing on of the most difficult schedules in the state the 2021 edition of Lady Wolverine softball proved that age has nothing to do with ability and you are never to young to succeed when you put in the work and dedication to your craft. The resume is incredible. Undefeated District 2B champion, a sterling 27-8 overall record that included victory against five of the seven teams that qualified for the state softball tournament, including a win against the #1 ranked team in Class 3A and the Class C state champion.
Small school advantage! Often you hear people bemoan the fact that a small school doesn’t provide the opportunities that a larger one does. There is absolutely no truth in that statement when applied to the team that ended up winning the district 2B title, ended up ranked 5th in the state and made it all the way to the Class B state semi-finals. Actually the exact opposite is primarily the main reason that this team was so successful this year. If one third (7th grader – Maggie Guyotte, 8th grader – Cali Deal, 8th grader – Karley Huckaby) of the starting nine, who played such a vital role would have been at a larger school they wouldn’t have even been on the team but forced to compete on the junior high level and most likely the five freshmen and sophomores (Madline Vail, Skylar Hall, Madison Chaplin, Maddie Kaye Brymer, Averie Williams) would have been playing junior varsity. Instead they not only got a chance to prove their talents on the varsity level they excelled as a team.
Gonna miss her! While virtually the entire roster will be back for next season and even more, there was one lone senior on the team, Jada Naron, that ended her career. She will be greatly missed as she provided great leadership and leaves a tremendous legacy of shining when the lights were the brightest. The bigger the game the better she played. A prime example is her play in the playoffs. For the season Naron had a batting average of .307 but in the three games Quitman played in the playoffs she responded with a .417 average, knocked in runs in each game and stole two bases. From her outfield position she also cleanly fielded all eight attempts she had.
Step by step! An old saying is that the way to climb a mountain is take one step at a time. While Quitman did not reach the mountaintop of high school softball this season they got within sight of the summit continuing a yearly accent since head coach Justin Dodson arrived in 2019. His first year the Lady Wolverines compiled a 13-16 record and last year went 9-6 in the shortened COVID pandemic spring. This year’s exceptional record of 27-8 earned the Lady Wolverines of winning more games than anyone in the state sans a handful of teams. Following the progression it won’t be surprising to see the Lady Wolverines sitting on top of the Class B world at the end of the year.
Stat stuffers! There was hardly a team in the entire state that had the offensive firepower as Quitman did this season. According to statistics provided by MaxPreps.com the 380 runs scored in the 35 games that came out to an average of 10.86 runs per game was second in the state and best in Class B. The 277 team RBI’s were also a Class B best and ranked fourth overall among all high schools in Louisiana and their 24 home runs tied for the best in Class B. The .361 team batting average ended up third best in Class B. When it comes to stolen bases the 186 swiped as a team was by far the best in Class B and second in the state among all classes. As impressive as that was it fails in comparison to some of the individual achievements garnered as shown below:
Class B rankings are in parenthesis:
|Cali Deal||.500 (#3)||4 (#4)||32||40 (#5)||16||15 (#2)||181 (#2)||1.68 (#1)|
|Maddie Brymer||.455 (#6)||7 (#2)||59 (#1) (#5)||44 (#3)||9|
|Madison Chaplin||.343||4 (#4)||30||55 (#1)||31 (#1)|
|Maggie Guyotte||.436 (#10)||7 (#2)||38||34||2|
|Averie Williams||.216||14||31||27 (#2)|
|Karley Huckaby||.278||2||23||35||20 (#6)|
|Skylar Hall||.343||23||29||24 (#4)|
|Madeline Vail||.375||22||36||23 (#5)|