Softball league closes season with trophies, celebrations

Published 12:01 am Friday, June 15, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Kierra Logan, 10, signs the freshly-shaved head of her coach, Lee Yelverton, as they wait for the Natchez-Adams Softball League closing ceremonies to begin Thursday evening at Natchez High School. Yelverton told his team that if they won first place in their 9- and 10-year-old division, the girls could shave his head. “I had to keep my promise,” he said.

NATCHEZ — Lee Yelverton left the Natchez Girls’ Softball Complex with a giant trophy to celebrate his team’s championship this season, and he said the title more than made up for his lack of hair.

A preseason promise Yelverton made to his team came to fruition Thursday night when each member of his J&N Trophies team got their chance to take clippers to Yelverton’s head. Soon after the scalping was over, each girl signed Yelverton’s head with a Sharpie.

“I told them I’d let them (shave my head) if they won it,” Yelverton said. “It’s something I bribed them with.”

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The J&N Trophies team was one of more than 20 teams that received awards during the Natchez-Adams County Girls’ Softball League closing ceremonies Thursday night.

Yelverton said his players enjoyed his haircut as much as winning the championship.

“It was funny,” second baseman Lindsey Claire Lee said.

Yelverton’s daughter Adriana said she was glad to finally see her dad lose his hair.

“He bribes us just about every year,” she said.

Each league member received a trophy Thursday night, and 7-year-old Ava Reese said she would take hers home and put it with her collection.

“I think I might set it somewhere in my room,” she said.

Reese was in her first season of coach pitch, and she said it was hard at first, but it became her favorite sport.

“At first I was shy, but now I’m not,” she said.

Reese said she enjoys running the bases and likes to hit.

Eagle Electric took home the first-place prize in the T-ball division, and head coach Adam Young said his team improved a great deal this season.

“We try to basically teach the fundamentals,” Young said. “We practiced a lot at the beginning of the year and from practice to games it was a big difference. They keep improving.”

Young said 6-year-old Camren Strittman supplied a lot of power for the Eagle Electric squad this year. Strittman finished the season just shy of double-digits in home runs.

Strittman said hitting is her favorite aspect of softball.

“I like hitting home runs,” she said.

Young said the team’s first-place trophy was probably headed to his house.

Three former Natchez-Adams Softballers were honored Thursday night with $200 scholarships. Sage Atkins, Kelsey Barnes and Morgan Richmond each received the Riana Flynn Scholarship.

“I’m very honored, and I really appreciate it very much,” Barnes said.

Barnes said she was a member of the league since she was in T-ball, and the thing she enjoyed most was making new friends each season.

She said she was going to use her scholarship for books at Copiah-Lincoln Community College next year where she will major in accounting. Atkins and Richmond will also attend Co-Lin.

League board member Bridget Wactor said she loves seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces during the closing ceremonies.

“We love to see all the kids out here (on the field) together,” she said. “That’s what we do it for.”

Board member Tommy Wactor said the season started slow, but the league ended with approximately 22 teams. He said he was pleased with how the 2012 season went.

“It turned out great. As long as the kids have a smile on their faces this man does too.”