SCHOLAR ATHLETE: Vidalia senior outfielder finds way in classroom, on softball field
NATCHEZ — For Vidalia High School senior Megan Naquin, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.
Daughter of former LSU baseball player Greg Naquin, Megan picked up a glove and bat early.
“I started playing when I was really young,” she said. “My dad put me into softball and I’ve played ever since. It is kind of our thing.”
But also quickly becoming “her thing” is academics, where Naquin boasts a 3.8 cumulative GPA. However, Naquin admitted it took her a bit to find herself among the top of her class.
“My freshman year I had good grades, but I didn’t try as hard as I needed to,” she said. “Then, in my junior year, I turned things around and had a 4.0 and I have a 4.0 for senior year, too.”
Naquin said it was a moment in her sophomore year that opened her eyes to her academic potential.
“At the end of sophomore year, I saw my class ranking was 15 and I wasn’t satisfied with that,” she said. “I wanted to go to LSU, and I knew to get a scholarship, I needed to bump up my grades.”
She did just that and will be attending LSU in the fall.
“I’m majoring in pre-dental and plan on going to dental school to specialize in orthodontics,” she said. “I just like teeth. It’s a weird thing. Some people just like different stuff and I was always just like, ‘I want to fix somebody’s teeth.’”
As for softball, Naquin also has high aspirations.
“I’d like to go to Sulphur with it being my last year,” she said. “We made it to the playoffs every year, but I’d like to win out and experience Sulphur before everything is done.”
But she isn’t only in it for herself, she said. Her biggest fan is right along with her.
“Softball is our thing,” said Naquin of her and her dad. “It is really cool. We have the same number so that is special to me and he has never missed a game. It is a hobby we share together and I like playing for me and for him.”
Naquin, who plays right field for the Lady Vikings, is a dual-threat said Vidalia head coach Forest Foster.
“She is a great kid,” Foster said. “She is one of those types when you ask her to do something, she is just focused. She is a model student and athlete and that is what you are looking for.”
Despite seeming to have all of her ducks in a line, Naquin said things have been challenging with all that she is involved in.
“It has been hard, but my dad always tells me I can do it,” she said. “This year, I only have five classes so I get out early. But this semester, I’ve got a job and I work about 15 hours a week. So I go to school, work, then practice and then I get home and have to study. There are a lot of times I stay up until two in the morning, but that is what I have to do to get it done.”
At 16-6, the Lady Vikings are approaching the playoffs, and Naquin said she believes her team has what it takes to be a serious contender.
“We have what it takes to win the whole thing,” she said. “It just all depends on how we perform.”