ELWOOD — It is hard to imagine how Elwood's Jessie Noone could have had a better senior season individually than the one she posted this past spring.
Her numbers tell about some of her extraordinary contributions to the Panthers' trip to the semistate.
In 87 plate appearances, she hit .524. She drove in 21 runs with 10 doubles, two triples and three home runs. She struck out only twice, was successful in 23 of 24 steal attempts and had no errors while playing some cover-the-earth center field for Elwood.
"She has a great blend of speed and power," said her high school coach and father Chris Noone. "She's smart. She knows the game. She's been playing travel ball since she was about 9. She's always hustled. She knows that you can always control you effort you put out."
"It is a blessing to get this recognition," said Jessie. "I feel like I have worked my (tail) off."
She is a three-sport athlete and won The Herald Bulletin's Johnny Wilson Award this year. "In a school Elwood's size, you need all the athletes to compete in multiple sports," said her dad.
Now she adds THB's Softball Player of the Year.
Yet she wasn't always sure that she would focus on softball. "For a while I wanted to play college basketball," she said. "At the end of my sophomore year, because of my size, I thought I'd have a better chance of playing softball."
Her chances to be noticed for all of her talent and skill was enhanced this year by the team's success.
"She played on a great team," said coach Noone. "She's a humble kid. She knows that team is what's important. We didn't get a chance to play for a state championship and that's about the only big disappointment this year."