Lawrence Countian playing in two all-star games

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Emily Smith’s athletic prowess will be showcased this summer attwo locations. The Lawrence County product has been selected toplay in the Mississippi Association of Coaches High School Soccerand Slowpitch Softball All-Star Games.

First up is Saturday’s soccer game at Hinds Community College inRaymond. The 11th annual girls game kicks off at 11 a.m., followedby the 24th annual boys game at 1 p.m.

Smith will be among the all-stars reporting for practiceThursday. They’ll practice Thursday night and twice on Friday.

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According to Smith, she enjoys the physical side of soccer.”It’s a contact sport. It requires a lot to play soccer. It’s funbut you have to be in shape.”

Standing 5-foot-9, the talented 18-year-old has displayedathletic ability in several areas.

Lawrence County girls soccer coach Beronica Stringfellow saidSmith is an outstanding player. “She’s a go-getter. She never stopson the field. The Co-Lin coach (Frank Smith) called her the’scrapper,’ because she goes full speed in everything.”

Smith scored five goals this season as a midfielder

Her expertise in softball, slowpitch and fastpitch, has receivedaccolades from coaches and opposing players. In slowpitch, shebatted .679, with 7 homers and 36 RBIs.

As a junior, she hit 18 homers. A change in the softball’s corereduced the number of home runs after the 2004 season.

Smith will play in the MAC’s Slowpitch All-Star Game June 24, atNewton County High School in Decatur.

Tarvey Ward, LCHS slowpitch softball coach in 2005, praisedSmith’s character and her athletic ability. “Emily has a heart anddesire to win. She has speed, hustle and a good attitude.

“Emily started at shortstop as a ninth grader,” Ward continued.”She fields everything that is hit at her.

“If she had wanted to be a basketball player, she could havebeen successful. She’s an outstanding athlete.”

Asked about her favorite sport, Smith said she enjoys playingshortstop in softball, slow or fast. “That’s where all the hottestballs come.”

In the classroom, Smith said she enjoys English. As a senior,she was selected Miss LCHS, prom queen and homecoming queen. She’salso a class favorite and an honors graduate. She recently wasinducted into the LCHS Fastpitch Hall of Fame.

Stringfellow also coached Smith in fastpitch. Her defensiveskills are exceptional.

“Defensively, Emily usually has no errors,” said Stringfellow.”She has the talent for the game. She knows how to play herposition. She will actually make plays that a lot of peoplecouldn’t.”

Stringfellow recalled an outstanding defensive play Smithperformed in a Division 6-4A showdown with Brookhaven’s LadyPanthers this season.

“Emily did a 360 (pivot) behind second base and threw the runnerout at first base. She also makes the routine plays which is big inour defense.”

Stringfellow believes Smith would have been selected for bothsoftball games if MAC rules permitted.

“Co-Lin’s soccer and softball coaches wanted to sign her,” saidStringfellow.

In fastpitch, she led the Lady Cougars with a .388 battingaverage. She hit 2 homers and had 31 RBIs.

Smith said she plans to attend Co-Lin and pursue a career inradiology. She prefers a medical profession, like her mother,Rhonda who is a nurse at KDMC; and her older sister, Stacy.

All-Star notes: Brookhaven will be wellrepresented in Saturday’s all-star soccer action. Kevin Bower willcoach the South boys and Nason Stephens will play for the South.Laura Waldrop will represent the Lady Panthers in the girls soccergame.