Lauren Calvert

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2012

Senior valedictorian sees ball playing as a calling

By Angie Ledbetter

Seventeen-year-old South Panola fastpitch first baseman Lauren Calvert says playing is more important than wins and losses.

“They’re great but and statistically that’s what it comes down to but being part of the team has nothing to do with wins and loses,” she said. “Even if we lost every game I’d still play because I love it.”
She has been playing since her eighth grade year and loves the first base position the most.

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“I’ve played that position since I was little,” Calvert said. “I feel I can support the team best there. I may not be the fastest in the outfield or have the best arm but I feel that’s the position I can play the best at.”

Head coach Ashleigh Hicks agrees.

“Calvert is a heck of a first baseman and you can’t beat her,” Hicks said. “She always comes through at the plate with something.”

At first Calvert started playing softball for selfish reasons to get better and play at college one day.

“Then it became like a higher calling and had a purpose,” she said, musingly. “I realize it’s where God wanted me to be to learn to play as a team, with the team and use that time to glorify Him like an act of worship instead of being in church worshipping I can worship Him on the field too.”

Calvert says instead of just being a team it’s been a family relationship for her.

“When I was struggling through hard times, I always had my softball family there,” Calvert said. “I knew even if everybody else’s life was messing up I felt I had my team there because they weren’t going anywhere.”

Calvert considers herself a leader on and off the field.

“It’s important to be a leader because you can talk a lot of things but unless you walk the walk eventually it doesn’t amount to anything.

“You can say you expect this from your teammate or underclassman but unless you do it yourself it really has no meaning,” she added.

According to Calvert her senior year is bittersweet because she is not going to be playing college ball but she does get to play with her twin sister, Lindsey.

“That’s not the choice God has for me but it’s also cool to move on.”

Calvert enjoys having Lindsey at second base playing beside her, as they do everything together.

“There’s nothing like it. I wouldn’t want anybody else to be on second base beside me. It’s cool having her there, backing me up and keeps me accountable with everything I do being a leader.”

Hicks described Calvert as a “shining spot on the team.”

“She leads on and off the field and is someone the kids can respect,” she added. “She sticks to what she believes in and doesn’t let other people influence her.

“I love her just as a person in general,” Hicks added. “She’s an amazing person and I’m expecting great things for her in the future.”

The Class of 2012 Valedictorian plans to attend the University of Mississippi and major in international studies.

Calvert is the daughter of Steve Calvert of Batesville and Suzanne Calvert Brown of Pope.