FAST PITCH INTO FALL SPORTS. With school starting some of the excitement surrounding the new school year is fall sports. For Southwest it means Friday night lights for football and taking the field for softball.
Softball, for our surrounding small towns, is quite different than it used to be. Instead of each school fielding their own teams, the schools have been forced to co-op with surrounding districts to get enough athletes to field a team. For example, the Tina-Avalon team has four members from Southwest, six from Norborne and two from T.A. They played in the championship game of the Brunswick Tournament against a team called BKN. BKN co-ops between Brunswick, Keytesville and Northwestern. So, in one game there could be six schools represented!
TOURNAMENT CHAMPS. The co-op team T.A. Dragons defeated BKN Saturday in the championship game 4-1. There were six teams on the bracket. T.A. began with a win against Meadville 11-2. Junior Regan Crowe struck out 11 and had no walks in the victory.
Offensively, Grace McKinney led the charge going four for four and had four RBI’s. Southwest’s Ilyce Peel had one at bat and produced a hit for the team.
Bevier was the next team to fall to the Dragons in a 13-2 route. Crowe pitched two innings and Delaney Dunkin finished the game on the pitcher’s plate. The Dragons scored nine runs in the first inning, which allowed Coach McKinney to mix in other players on the field
The win sent T.A to the championship against the home team BKN. “Everyone thinks we are the underdog since we lost a couple strong kids from last year. I didn’t think we would get a team together in the beginning, we were in trouble,” said McKinney
“We ended up with a good group of girls who aim to get better. We started casual, just having fun, and now they are becoming more dedicated. Putting in more effort to see what we can do,” added McKinney.
DEFENSE WINS GAMES. Against BKN the game was deadlocked at one apiece through four innings before the Dragons broke the game open in the fifth inning with three runs and then a strong defense held for the championship.
Crowe got the win with 11 strike outs, three walks and gave up three hits. “We played really good defense and we aren’t walking batters. Duncan is stronger this year as a catcher. From Southwest Kailey Hulett, who plays left field, was two for four in the championship, and second baseman Ally Ralls was one for four. Also on the T.A roster is Regan Donoho.
One surprise player for Coach McKinney is his senior third baseman, Avery Mathews, from Norborne who hadn’t played in a few seasons. “I was worried because she hadn’t played for so long, but she fielded everything. She only had one error on a throw. I was surprised,” said the coach. Mathews also produced on offense, getting on base five times from being hit by the pitch!
McKinney is a dedicated coach who isn’t concerned with the win-loss record. “All that matters is districts and on,” he explained. He wants to play the better teams to better his team. His typical day begins with leaving for work at 4:30 and hustling back for practice. Go to bed and do it again. McKinney feels the biggest challenge to softball now is getting the kids the
lessons and playing time. Good teams have parents who worked with the kids on the weekends and play in the summer.
McKinney knows. He has two older daughters who both played big time softball in college, and Grace, an excellent senior who is on the T.A. team now. He feels family’s need to give their kids their best opportunity through hard work and holding them accountable.
These underdogs found a way.
PHOTO FAMOUS. Shari Dawkins sent a photo of her granddaughter Lylith Rose to the Missouri Ruralist Magazine and they printed it! This is Shari's son Drew Dawkins and Paige Osbon's daughter. Lylith Rose attends preschool at Southwest.
LINDA’S BIKE PARTY. Linda Roberts hosted her annual bike party in Mooresville last Saturday, August 28. It was estimated that there were around 70 participants in the ride and games. The children enjoyed water balloons and a hunt for treasure.
SEEKING NEW PASTOR. The 113-year-old Ludlow Church is seeking a new pastor for their church after the departure of Pastor Josh who is heading for California with his wife April. His last sermon came on Sunday, August 29.
In an online statement, Pastor Josh wrote, “We have wrestled with this decision for a while. Since March of 2020, we have seen many doors close here in our personal life and ministry. We truly believe with our whole hearts it is time for us to step out of the way. Thank you for loving and accepting us. We truly appreciate the GRACE you have shown both of us. This has been our first experience in ministry and yet you have been so gracious, supportive, and encouraging to us. Thank you! Please understand how much we love and care for each of you. Our prayers are with you and the future of Ludlow Community Church and the Federated Church of Dawn.”
FFA DEGREES TOP IN NATION. The Chillicothe FFA chapter has the sixth most American degrees in the nation! This is out of 8,739 FFA chapters. Outstanding! Southwest degree holders of the highest-ranked degree in FFA are Mack Anderson, Garrett Cramer, Rachel Holt, Caroline Warren and Bryce Wolf.
ON HER OWN. She’s living on her own in downtown Los Angeles, in her fourth term of an eight-term program. Maintaining a 4.0 grade point average so far. She attends the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising majoring in Visual Communications. WHO IS SHE? Southwest graduate Julian Hughes!!!
NEW STAFF AT SOUTHWEST. Welcome to the Southwest family to the following educators. Albert Foster in math and P.E., Kaylynn Goodsell in second grade, Nate McKiddy in P.E., Activities Director and junior high math, Shaylee Norris in art, Kelly Warren in music and Kristi Hughes and Amanda Kline are the new paraprofessionals.