Sports

January 25, 2014

Versatility, unselfishness key assets for Southeast’s Chaya Drury

Chaya Drury played many positions in her four years on the softball diamond at Southeast Whitfield High School.

Whatever position, she knows she’ll be on the field for Motlow State Community College.

The senior signed Friday with Motlow College, a two-year school in Tullahoma, Tenn. Drury received a partial athletic scholarship and plans to be part of the roster as a freshman for the team’s 2015 schedule.

“She’s a huge team player,” said Lady Raiders coach Kelley Barton, Drury’s head coach the past two seasons and a Southeast assistant the two seasons before that. “It didn’t matter what I asked her to do, she did it. ... She played all over the field.”

A two-time honorable mention to The Daily Citizen All-Area Team, Drury played catcher and third base this past season. She played shortstop as a freshman and has also pitched. As a senior, she batted .273 with a .473 slugging percentage.

Of her 15 hits, seven were extra-base hits with two home runs and nine RBIs. She only committed six errors this year and posted a .903 fielding percentage.

“If they need me anywhere,” Drury said, “then I can play.”

Motlow State finished 17-26 overall last year and 10-17 in Region VII. The school is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association. The team has 17 players on the roster, and 11 are sophomores.

The Lady Bucks’ coach, Tori Raby-Gentry, is friends with Amanda Ramfjord, who teaches at Southeast, where she’s also the head coach for girls soccer and an assistant for girls basketball. That was the first domino in Raby-Gentry learning about Drury.

“I knew I wanted to play softball in college,” Drury said. “I was looking at different colleges and coach Ramfjord said she had a friend there. I went there and liked it.”

Drury said her preference was to attend a two-year school and keep possibilities open beyond Motlow State.

“I didn’t want to go to a four-year school and not like it and not want to stay the whole time,” Drury said. “A two-year school is the best way to go.”

Raby-Gentry stressed her new signee’s adaptability to different positions, something she saw when watching Drury at a workout.

“She’s really athletic, versatile, has a great arm and we see her coming in and really helping us out in different areas,” Raby-Gentry said. “She’s such a versatile player.”

Drury started playing softball as early as she can remember and focused solely on the sport through high school. The ability to continue playing the sport was a big part of her decision to attend Motlow, and Barton is thrilled to see a team-oriented player like Drury head to the next level.

“I know she has worked hard and this has been her dream,” Barton said. “Now it’s coming true, so it’s exciting for me to watch it happen.”

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