Newcomer Debs making noise
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
The Debs of Hartselle, a first year Dixie Girls Softball League team of 16, 17 and 18-year-old players has already made a lot of noise in the Tennessee Valley and is on the verge of making a run that could merit national attention before the season is over.
The team's record stood at 7-1 on June 14 in competition with teams from Decatur, Colbert County and the Tri-Cities area. With four games left, they were favored to win the district tournament later this month and move on to vie for state and possibly top honors in the Dixie World Series in July.
"They're a group of athletes who have already proven themselves as all-stars in softball and other sports at the varsity level," said Keith Long, their assistant coach. They pretty much have the option of choosing what position they want to play, and they're playing loose and having fun."
Success has been easy to come by with skilled players like Kayla Orr and Breanna Segars on the roster. Orr is Hartselle High's all-time career and season home run record holder who is headed to UAB on a softball scholarship. Segars had a school record 25 wins on the mound in 2007 and signed a scholarship to play ball at the junior college level.
They are joined by five of their varsity softball teammates, Haley Miller, Whitley Collins, Chandler Orr, Kristy Pevahouse and Kelli Montgomery. Also on the team are HHS basketball all-star players Lauren Drake, Mary Virginia Reeves and Jessica Andrews, Ashley Womack, a 2006 HHS grad who played softball, and Haley Barnett of Decatur.
"Having a Dixie team for girls this age is something new in Hartselle," Long said. "But this may not be the last one."
"My wife Beth and I decided it was worth the effort to poll some varsity players after their season ended to see if they were interested in playing this summer," Long explained. "All it took was Beth calling a couple of the seniors. They jumped at the idea and did their own recruiting. Then the parents jumped on the bandwagon and everything started moving forward at full speed."