by Madison Ruston // GeauxPreps.com Intern
STONEWALL – When you think of North DeSoto softball, one name comes to mind, Delafield.
For years the Delafield’s have made a dominant impact on softball in Stonewall. Emma Callie led the Griffins to three straight state championships during her time in high school. And now, her younger sister, Aly has the chance to do the same when the Griffins head to Sulphur this weekend.
With this being Aly’s senior season, that means when this weekend in Sulphur comes to an end, it’ll be the last time a Delafield puts on that North DeSoto jersey and plays softball for the Griffins.
Aly says she’s extremely thankful for her time spent in Stonewall.
“Being able to play for North Desoto is such a privilege,” said Delafield. “The coaches, the team, the facilities etc. are all unreal. The success we’ve had over the years is a result of all the work we put in. There is no better feeling than putting in so much work and it all paying off and getting to celebrate with your teammates.”
Aly played her very last game in Stonewall when the Griffins had a walk off win against Assumption to punch their ticket to Sulphur to defend their state title. Aly had a big role in that game as she pitched a complete game, only allowing two hits and striking out 11 batters. That was a day full of emotions for Aly.
“It was definitely bittersweet,” stated Delafield. “It didn’t really set in until after the game and I realized I would never play a game on that field again. I was just glad that we won for my last game.”
Another special moment that happened after the game was when the whole Delafield family took a walk to the outfield where all the state championship trophies are hanging on the fence and she shared a special moment with her older sister, who has been through this same journey.
“I was walking with my sister who won three state championships at this school,” said Delafield. “She was telling me how proud of me she was and how much she loved me. She told me to soak it all in because college ball is fun but very different. It made me realize how grateful I am to have such a supportive and loving family. And it made me grateful for softball because it has allowed me to bond and connect with my sisters in a way that wouldn’t be possible without it.”
The feelings were bittersweet for the whole Delafield family, but it was also bittersweet for Head Coach Tim Whitman, who started his time at North DeSoto during Aly’s freshman year.
“I had to putt my sunglasses on when Aly was batting that last time because I had a little tear in my eye because she was my first senior class here,” said Whitman. “I knew that was her last at bat on this field. Even we were trying to score runs I was more pumped that she got a hit on her last at bat here.”
Whitman has made just as big of an impact on Aly as she has on him.
“Coach Whitman is one of the most decorated and best coaches in Louisiana. He has won many state and national championships, but that’s not all he cares about,” said Aly. “Coach Whitman is like another parent. He takes us under his wing and loves us like we’re one of his own. He would do anything for any of his players and I’m so grateful for him.”
As her time in Stonewall has come to an end, there’s still one more trip left for Aly and this Griffin team. A trip to Sulphur to go for a third straight title. Aly said she’s going to take every second of this last trip with her team.
“I want to make this trip the best one yet. I can’t wait to be in the hotel with my bestfriends playing games and joking around, that’s my favorite part about all of it. I love these girls more than anything and I just want to enjoy the time I have left with them,” Delafield said.
Although it’ll be a fun trip, Aly and the team know what they have to do in order to bring another state championship back to Stonewall.
“As a team we have to stay focused and play for each other. We can’t worry about how well we do ourselves, we just have to know that our teammates have our back. Even if we don’t do our best individually we have to trust that as a team we can succeed,” Delafield said.
Not only will her team have her back, but the whole town of Stonewall will as well. As they make the trip down to pack the stands at Frasch Park.
“Stonewall is basically one big family,” exclaimed Delafield. “Everybody knows everybody and that makes it really easy for all of us to support each other. There is nothing better than seeing your whole community at one of your games. It motivates you to do your best for them.”
Though Aly’s time at North DeSoto is ending, her softball career isn’t. She’ll be continuing her softball career at the next level at Northwestern State. She said the best part about that is her best friend and only other senior on the team, Cameron Curtis, is going with her.
“Since Cameron and I were little girls we’ve always talked about going to college together and living together. It is really surreal to see your dreams become a reality.” Aly said. “Cameron is an amazing teammate, but an even better friend. We’ve been playing ball together since we were little girls and I can’t wait to keep playing with her at NSU.”
The Griffins head to Sulphur Thursday morning where they will prepare for a semifinal matchup with Brusly Friday with first pitch scheduled for 5 o’clock at North Frasch Park. A win will send them to the state championship game on Saturday. Aly has one last ride with her Griffin family and she looks to end it on high note.
Although there want be anymore Delafield’s on the softball field at North DeSoto, there’s still one Delafield left standing. Aly’s younger brother Luke, who led the Griffins to the state finals in football as only a freshman. Aly says she has no doubt her brother can have the same dominant impact on football that the Delafield girls had on softball.
“I definitely think my brother is capable of leading the football team to three state championships,” said Delafield. “He is such a good role model and leader, and he works so hard. He makes sure that everyone he knows can trust him and consider him family. I’m proud of the young man he is becoming and I’m proud to call him my brother.”
It’ll be a weekend full of emotions for the Delafield and the Lady Griffin softball family, but it’ll be a weekend they will forever cherish.