This week’s Taylor County Athletes of the Week are showing that strength and agility comes in all forms, and that nothing can stop a female on a mission.
The selections come from the local Base Invader Girls softball program, as chosen by their coaches, and the two respective picks this week are shinning examples of that talent.
Paetyn McGinnis (P.J.) is a 12-year-old student entering the seventh grade at Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) this year. When not on field with the Invaders, she serves as a member of the Haymond Eagles 4H club and spends her off time involved in musical theater.
After trying out for the TCMS Lady Knights Softball team, McGinnis shared she fell in love with the sport, opting to continue to develop her skills and take her game to the next level with the Base Invaders in the summer months.
“I am thrilled at how well P.J. has done this season. She is a wall at catcher and fast on her feet, with a heck of a throw to second base. She also tried out at pitching and excelled there too,” voiced head 12U Base Invaders coach Jay Taylor. “P.J. is a great teammate, very teachable and always has a smile on her face. She will be a joy to watch for years to come.”
Assistant coach Casey Williams noted that P.J. has been a fantastic addition to the team’s lineup, and is an overall wonderful person.
“She has bloomed as a player and is emerging as a leader, as well. She is always there to encourage her teammates, whether that means having a meeting on the mound to boost up her pitcher or cheering the team on from the dugout. I am extremely proud of how much she has improved this summer, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her in this sport,” Williams expressed.
Jeri Wolford is a multi-sport athlete for TCMS, as well as the Base Invaders. This year, she developed a passion for softball and has excelled on the field.
Jeri had previously been known at TCMS as a Lady Knights Volleyball player and a Lady Knights Basketball player, but she decided to add to that lineup and began to pursue softball last year. And while the softball season was cancelled due to COVID-19, she was more than ready to take the field this year.
Head coach for the TCMS Lady Knights and head coach for the 16U Base Invaders Joe Mauller has given her the nickname of “Cinderelly” because of her sunny disposition both on and off the field.
“Jeri “Cinderelly” Wolford is the kind of kid you want on any team you coach. Her work ethic is remarkable for a soon to be eighth grader. She goes 200 percent every time her feet touch the field,” Mauller voiced. “She is one of the most coachable kids I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. You can say ‘Hey Jeri, I want you to steal on this pitch’ and you get a ‘yes sir,’ and off she goes on the next pitch. Or you can say ‘Hey Jeri, grab a rake and help with the field, and it’s the same thing, it’s a ‘yes sir,’ and she’s on it.”
He shared that the improvements he has seen in Wolford this year have been nothing less than outstanding, adding, “I look forward to coaching her for many years to come. She is going to be a great addition to any sports team she plays for, and I am just glad that she is in Taylor County.”
Congratulations to P.J. and Jeri for being named as this week’s Taylor County Athletes of the Week. You both have shown young female athletes that with hard work and dedication, any dream is obtainable.