Caledonia All-Star girls team hoping to end 10 years of dominance with one more title

CALEDONIA, Miss. (WCBI) – Thursday marked the start of the Mississippi Dizzy Dean state softball tournament in Caledonia.

But for four members of the Caledonia 12 and under All-Stars, it marks the end of an era.

Katelyn Hill, Kennedy Trotter, Rylee Clardy and Gaige Downs have come a long way since they first stepped onto the diamond together.

“When we started and these girls played Wee ball and t-ball, man the uniforms barely fit them,” says Chris Clardy, Rylee’s father and the girls’ coach for the majority of their careers. “They were falling off of them, even the smallest size they had.”

“We went around and got our eyes beat out (in youth softball) but we went to every single tournament that we could, no matter where it was or when it was,” Rylee says.

But during their 10 years together, the group of 12 and 13-year-olds has collected five state championships and two world series wins for the Caledonia All-Stars.

“As coaches and dads, I think sometimes we’ve sat back and seen them have some success that you don’t see commonly in kids at young ages,” Chris says.

All four girls will continue playing together at Caledonia Middle School. But they say their 10 years in the parks and rec. league will stay with them forever.

“It’ll always be a part of my life,” Hill says. “I basically grew up here, Chris was like my second dad, these are all, right here, my sisters. I’ll never forget all the memories we made.”

Memories like how they celebrated their first state title win in Vardaman.

“We all went to Pickles…and I dropped my whole steak in my lap,” Hill says.

“She had white pants on,” Rylee said laughing.

The four girls hope to add at least one more memory in their final Dizzy Dean State Softball Tournament.

“Their last year of playing at the park is something that looks almost like a storybook situation,” Chris says. “You couldn’t write it out any way better for them to end their season.”

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