Local players named to All-State team

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, June 11, 2016

Three local players were selected for the Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State team and three received honorable mention honors.

Samantha Yarbrough and Kayla Dendy of Pike Liberal Arts School were both named first team members, while Bailey Rushing was named as an honorable mention for AISA. From Goshen, Hannah Calhoun was selected as a second team member and teammate Carmen Kelly was named honorable mention in Class 2A. Zion Chapel’s Haleigh Dewberry was also named as an honorable mention in Class 2A.

The Goshen Eagles entered the 2016 as a veteran team primed to make a run in the state playoffs. Freshman Hannah Calhoun stepped on the scene and made an immediate impact for the Eagles.

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Calhoun finished the season batting .421 with 11 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

“I can’t say enough about Hannah,” Eagles head coach Amy Warrick said. “Hannah is a worker. She came to us as a transfer and went right to work. She had a big role for us. I am so proud of her.”

Kelly was one of the veteran members of the Goshen Eagles. As a senior, Kelly also hit .421 and had four homeruns and 25 RBIs. She also had a total of 12 extra base hits.

“Carmen worked so hard during the offseason,” Warrick said. “I am proud of her. She set a goal for herself at the beginning of the year to hit over .400 and she did that and I am proud of her for that.”

Pike Lib knocked on the door of a state championship in 2016 and they couldn’t have done it without the play of three quality players in Yarbrough, Dendy and Rushing.

“I am excited for all three of them,” said Patriots head coach Robert Rollan. “They all did a great job this year.”

Dendy played left field for the Patriots in 2016 and she contributed at the plate and in the field.

“Kayla is one of those players who goes out there and you really don’t notice her,” Rollan said. “She works hard everyday and she always shows up with a smile. She never quits. Seeing her name really puts a smile on my face.”

Dendy finished the season with 53 hits, one home run, 17 RBIs and 25 runs scored.

Rushing spent much of the season battling injuries for the Patriots. After spending much of the time sidelined at the beginning of the season, Rushing went on and finished the season with an 11-4 record with 106 strikeouts.

“She struggled with trying to come back from injuries,” Rollan said. “It was really big for her to be named an honorable mention. There was one point where we didn’t know if she was going to play. I am excited for her.”

Yarbrough made the biggest splash for the Patriots this past season. Yarbrough did it with the glove and the bat and filled in for Rushing as a pitcher in the beginning and end of the season. She had a blistering .400 batting average with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs.

“Sam did a good job this year,” Rollan said. “She was steady all season long offensively for us. I was excited that she was able to have that honor.”

Zion Chapel’s Dewberry played second base for the Rebels in 2016. She hit .341 with 10 RBIs and 10 extra base hits. In the field Dewberry racked up a .922 fielding percentage with nine errors.

“Haleigh loves the game and is one of my hardest workers and a true competitor,” said Rebels head coach Thomas Boswell. “She has played varsity since the eighth grade. She is very deserving of this honor.”