Lady Redskin pitcher Ashley Barfield beat out all her peers throughout the Coastal Empire to take home Hinesville Umpires Association’s softball "Athlete of the Year" award during the group’s annual banquet on Dec. 13 at Holton’s Seafood in Midway.
"She stood out as an all-around good athlete for her team," said umpire Sandy Strickland. "An exceptionally good pitcher and a team leader as well. I’ll never forget that game she pitched against Savannah Country Day, which I had the pleasure of officiating. A no-hitter and within one point of a perfect game. There was even a break because of lightning, but she never broke her stride."
This is the first time any such honor as been bestowed upon a BCHS student athlete.
"The Umpires Association made their best call of the year when they made Ashley Barfield their Athlete of the Year," said BCHS Vice Principal Rod Backman. "She is an outstanding athlete and a great student."
Barfield was the starting pitcher for the BCHS Ladyskins fast pitch softball team and has held that position for all four years of her high school career. She was presented with a bronze trophy of a fast pitch softball player in full swing at the plate which was engraved with her name and the honor which she was given.
At the banquet, the group honored members within the association that have reached milestones in their careers as well as area athletes they deemed as the cream of the crop. Barfield joined other athletes from area high schools honored in football - offensive and defensive, volleyball and basketball.
The Umpires Association chose their recipients from all the high schools within the Coastal Empire. Nominees were submitted by Association members and were chosen when an athlete stood out among his or her teammates for excellence in their sport.
Those attending in honor of Miss Barfield were, Jack and Robin Barfield - parents, Jack and Doris Barfield - grandparents, Brandon Barfield - brother with fiancée and friend Meredith Shuman, Shelby & Brooke Barfield - sisters, Greg & Chris Barfield - uncles, Charlie Barfield - cousin, Adam Burton - friend, coaches Kim Covington, Robin Butler and Karen Lynn and assistant principal Rod Backman.
"She was very shocked," her mother Robin Barfield said. "I don’t think any of us realized the full magnitude of this honor until we got to the banquet. When we got there, we saw over a hundred fine dining settings, and it really started to sink in. I’m just so extremely honored, humbled and proud of her for winning this award."