Scholar Athlete: Abby Givens

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 29, 2011

Eric Shelton | The Natchez Democrat — Abby Givens, a junior at Adams County Christian School, is an A-B student and multi-sport athlete for the Rebels.

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School’s Abby Givens doesn’t really ever stop playing sports.

Givens, who is about to begin her junior season with the ACCS softball team, also plays basketball, runs track and cheerleads for the Rebels. In addition, she also plays in summer softball league games.

Despite the busy schedule, Givens is a consistent A and B student, and she said a lot of that comes from her parents.

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“Since my dad’s a principal at Monterey, I’ve always had to do schoolwork before anything else,” Givens said. “Not working hard on my schoolwork was not really an option.”

And Givens said she’s able to make time to study despite always being busy with sports.

“Most of the time, I do my schoolwork during study hall, but I’ve always made time for it when I’ve gotten home,” she said.

Although primarily an outfielder, Givens will be playing shortstop for the Lady Rebels this season after the coaching staff saw a need at the position, she said.

“I love the outfield, but this year I’m excited to play short,” Givens said. “I’ve worked hard there, and I’m just really looking forward to it.”

But center field is Givens’ natural position, and she said it’s a fun position to play when an opposing batter hits the ball to her.

“I can judge fly balls (well), and I love running everywhere and calling the other fielders off,” she said.

When she’s not playing short this season, Givens will be on the mound for the Lady Rebels, using one of four pitches in her pitching arsenal.

“I have a four-seam (fastball), a two-seam, a changeup and a peel drop,” Givens said.

A peel drop is a pitch with a downward motion that’s a little slower than a fastball, but has the same delivery as a fastball, ACCS head coach Forest Foster said. The pitch is designed to throw batters off by having the appearance of the fastball when it’s thrown.

Whether or not she enjoys pitching depends on how good a day she’s having on the mound, Givens said.

“I get frustrated when my pitches aren’t hitting (the zone), but otherwise, if I’m having a good day, I like pitching,” she said.

If good grades run in the family, so does softball. Givens said she’s been playing since she was 5, and it all stems from softball being a family activity for her.

“It’s always something we did together,” Givens said. “I’d always be chasing after balls my brother hit ever since I was in diapers. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”

When it comes to balancing sports and schoolwork, Givens said there’s one class at ACCS in particular that made it a bit tough.

“Anatomy and physiology with Ms. (Nikki) Freeman,” Givens said. “She’s a wonderful teacher, but her tests are stressful.

“Sometimes during practice, me and my friend Jessica Reynolds would come up with stuff to help us study, because we were in the same class.”

Givens is the daughter of Buddy and Ann Givens.