Banquet honors three-time state champions
Jun 07, 2012 | 3353 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the third straight year, Ragland won the Class 1A softball state championship. A banquet was held in their honor last week. Seated, from left, are Brittany Johns, Sommar Wright, Brooke Evans, Emily Church, Lauren Wright, J.J. Looney and Madison Oliver. Standing, from left, are Coach Rush Rutledge, Lexi Goodwin, Taylor Boswell, Carley Echols, Reagan Campbell, Kailey Echols, Leah Byers, Callie Kay, Destiny Gardner, Shyann Hazelwood, Kassidy St. John, and Coach Jonathan Nix.
For the third straight year, Ragland won the Class 1A softball state championship. A banquet was held in their honor last week. Seated, from left, are Brittany Johns, Sommar Wright, Brooke Evans, Emily Church, Lauren Wright, J.J. Looney and Madison Oliver. Standing, from left, are Coach Rush Rutledge, Lexi Goodwin, Taylor Boswell, Carley Echols, Reagan Campbell, Kailey Echols, Leah Byers, Callie Kay, Destiny Gardner, Shyann Hazelwood, Kassidy St. John, and Coach Jonathan Nix.
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It was a night to honor state champions.

Last week, the Ragland Lady Purple Devils softball team was recognized for accomplishments over the past three years.

And what they have accomplished is a remarkable feat that very, very few softball teams in the state can boast about — winning three consecutive AHSAA Class 1A state crowns.

In the past three years, Ragland has a record of 109-25. The winning percentage is even higher if you count just 1A competition.

The coaches and families, along with the players and their parents and siblings, were all treated to a steak dinner. The dinner was held at the high school media center.

Not only was this year’s state championship team honored, senior members from the 2010 and 2011 teams were invited to attend.

The two seniors from the 2010 team were Reagan Campbell and Brooke Evans. The two seniors from the 2011 team were Brittany Johns and Paige Gann. Gann was the only player unable to attend.

Coach Jonathan Nix said it has been an amazing three-year run.

“These girls have bought into what we were attempting to do,” Nix said. “They have worked hard, put in long hours, played through injuries and become state champions three years in a row. I am very proud of them.”

Members of the St. Clair County Commission as well as the St. Clair County Board of Education were there.

St. Clair Schools Superintendent Jenny Seals said she was extremely proud of the girls for a job well done.

Ragland district BOE member Marie Manning said it is amazing what these young girls have accomplished.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for the Ragland School and community to be recognized and honored across this state,” Manning said. “This banquet tonight is an opportunity for these players and coaches to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. I am so proud to be affiliated with all the good things that are happening in the St. Clair County School System.”

At its last meeting before the banquet, the county commission passed a resolution honoring the Ragland softball team.

At the banquet, Commissioner Paul Manning presented each player and coaches Jonathan Nix and Rush Rutledge with copies of the resolution.

The original resolution was presented to the school to be displayed in its trophy case.

Members of the 2012 team included Shyann Hazelwood, seventh-grade; Kassidy St. John, Callie Kay and Lexi Goodwin, eighth-grade; Taylor Boswell and Carley Echols, freshmen; Kailey Echols and Destiny Gardner, sophomores; Leah Byers, junior; and J.J. Looney, Madison Oliver, Emily Church, Lauren Wright and Sommar Wright, seniors.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.

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