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Top NET softball players honored for academic, athletic prowess

Douglas Fritz • May 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM

It was a season that ended shortly after it began for Northeast Tennessee softball.

But there were still players deserving of special recognition. This year’s Times News/Johnson City Press Sweet 19 team is a reflection of that statement.

The team is normally called the Sweet 16, but with the help of their coaches, one player from each area team was selected as a standout equally for her athletic prowess and academic accomplishments.

Leading the way in both of those categories was the honorary player of the year: Daniel Boone’s Nickolette Ferguson.

Here is the Sweet 19 team with a comment on each player from her coach:

VOLUNTEER

Alli Chandler (senior, P)

“Alli will continue her career at Walters State,” Jackie Strickler said. “She is a four-year starter, all-conference three years, a leader on the team and an outstanding student with a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.”

CHEROKEE

Siera Light (senior, CF)

“Siera is an outstanding student-athlete,” Kristen Richards said. “She gives 110% both on the field and off. She works part time and actively participates in softball and other extracurricular activities, all while maintaining a high GPA. She is one of the hardest workers I know and she loves the game.”

DOBYNS-BENNETT

Kassidy Miller (senior, P)

“She is a hard worker in the classroom and on the ballfield,” Andy Hubbard said.

SCIENCE HILL

Shayna Price (senior, 2B)

“She will attend Chattanooga to study chemical engineering,” Jerry Higgins said. “A four-year starter with 63 career RBIs and 76 runs scored, she also has a 3.94 GPA.”

DANIEL BOONE

Nickolette Ferguson (senior, P)

“She was very talented on the field and in the classroom and just made Daniel Boone better in all aspects,” Jeremy Jenkins said. “Her GPA is 4.2 and she is ranked No. 2 in her class.”

DAVID CROCKETT

Jenna Davis (senior P)

“Jenna is a great student in the classroom and very dedicated on the softball field,” Carla Weems said. “She is a very hard worker and a blessing to be around.”

TENNESSEE HIGH

Jazmin Hurley (senior, OF)

“Jazmin has been a huge asset to our program and to our Bristol community,” Jen Testa said. “Her commitment to her softball team through her hard work and dedication has really helped change the culture of our program. She also has started a nonprofit charity organization called ‘Love n People,’ which does all kinds of things, including purchasing, wrapping and giving presents to children in need at Christmastime.”

SULLIVAN SOUTH

Makkenzie Compton (senior, CF)

“She is the epitome of a student- athlete,” Chris Sturgill said. “She is a three-sport athlete, and she excels not only on the field but in the classroom. Makkenzie was a true leader and essential part of the Lady Rebels team.”

SULLIVAN EAST

Autumn Moore (senior, LF)

“Autumn has been a four-year contributor to our success in softball,” Michael Forrester said. “She is a true leader for our team and is graduating with a 4.0 GPA.”

SULLIVAN CENTRAL

Sydney Snapp (senior, P)

“Sydney is a very determined young woman,” Andrea Werner said. “When she sets her mind to something, she pushes and achieves. She chose to get her nursing degree instead of playing softball at the next level. I told her she could do both, but she said she wants to put all her effort towards school. Sydney has a bright future ahead of her and I know she will do great things!”

ELIZABETHTON

Kaylen Shell (senior, LF)

“Kaylen excelled on and off the field,” Ken Hardin said. “She was one of our top players while also carrying a 4.0 GPA.”

JOHNSON COUNTY

Hannah Brooks (senior, P)

“She hit 31 career home runs and was also an outstanding student,” Greg Reece said. “She has a 3.9 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, in the top 10% of her class, on the student council and in the FCA. I cannot begin to describe the impact she had on this program. She is an outstanding leader, teammate and as great a player as I have coached in my 16 years. On top of that she is an even better person.”

UNICOI COUNTY

Bella Bogart (senior, C)

“She is definitely a team leader,” Grady Lingerfelt said. “She is a very smart girl, and it is unbelievable how far she has come.”

HAPPY VALLEY

Claire Johnson (senior, 2B)

“She is a great all-around student and athlete,” Cody Hyder said.

SULLIVAN NORTH

Kendall Nash (sophomore, C)

“Kendall excels in the classroom and on the field,” Melissa Nash said. “She has a 4.039 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. Kendall was voted captain this season and is a vocal leader behind the plate. Her knowledge of the game makes her an asset both offensively and defensively.”

UNIVERSITY HIGH

Emily Morgan (junior, SS)

“She plays shortstop because we need her there, but she is also a really good outfielder,” Keith Jeffers said. “She’s a good student with a 3.6 GPA.”

UNAKA

Sadie Shoun (sophomore, P)

“When other players were having trouble hitting, she would go work with them,” Kenneth Chambers said. “Sadie stepped up and was our leader on and off the field. As a student, she works hard in the classroom because she wants to go on and play college softball. She knows school is like everything else: If you want to do good, you have to put in the hard work.”

CLOUDLAND

Kenzie Birchfield (senior, P)

“She has a 3.89 GPA and is in the top 10% academically,” Matt Birchfield said. “She will be attending Walters State.”

HAMPTON

Shae Maslin (junior, LF)

“Shea is an outstanding student who works hard in everything she does, not only on the field but in the classroom,” Chelsey Weddle said.

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