The Central High Lady Bronchos softball team continued celebrating their success from the last few years as outfielder/infielder Leigha Harris became the fifth All-Stater in the history of the school.
Harris is one of two representatives in Stephens County to be selected to the Small West team by the Oklahoma Fast Pitch Coaches Association. She joins Velma-Alma’s Jaycee Kimbrough as the two representatives from area schools on the Small West team.
This season in her senior year, Harris took over the shortstop role when head coach Chad Weldon needed her to move. She had a big year in 2020 for the Lady Bronchos.
Harris had a batting average of .611 in her senior season with 33 hits. Of those, 10 were doubles and four of those were home runs. In total, she drove in 22 runs while walking 22 times to get on base.
Weldon said Harris was a great player for him and the Lady Bronchos. He’s glad to see her represent the school in a prestigious honor.
“Leigha is an all around athlete with a big swing and is very deserving of this honor,” Weldon said. “She had a really good freshman and sophomore year. A knee injury sidelined her last year but she came back strong this year, batting over .600 and filling in a needed spot on the infield. I am very happy for Leigha to be named All-State and represent Central High.”
Finding out about the honor Monday evening, Harris said the excitement from the news buzzed all around the community and within the team, who supported her during her four year career at Central High.
“It is a huge honor and I felt very excited — there isn’t very many people who get picked for it and especially from Central. That is a huge thing,” Harris said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team and they helped a lot and Coach Weldon also, he has done a lot for me.”
While she didn’t play during the 2019 season because of the knee injury, Harris said to comeback her senior season and do so well was a blessing. She also reflected on the trip to the State Tournament.
“When I got hurt, it was very tough coming back and I had to work really hard and it was just a great feeling,” Harris said. “Some memorable moments were playing in the State Tournament and that is a moment I will never forget. It was unlike anything I have ever done before and I’m very grateful for the teams I had.”
The community support was also huge for Harris and she has received a lot of congratulations from the town, school and family members.
“It is a huge deal at Central … especially at a small school like Central — it is a huge thing to get picked,” Harris said. “The whole community is so supportive and congratulated me and it has been a huge honor.”
In the coming weeks, Harris will sign her collegiate scholarship for softball to Harding University in Arkansas. With her senior year fast pitch season over, she thanked her coaches, family and team members for helping make her time at Central High.
“It all fits together and everyone is so supportive of each other and we do everything as a team,” Harris said. “The support I have gotten from Central High is very good to me. My family, my mom and dad, my grandpa and grandma, Coach Weldon and the team especially, the girls I got play with in my four years.”
She will represent Central High in the Small West game that will take place in the summer 2021 with time date and place to be determined at a later time.