Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

April 12, 2013

'Queen of K', Littlejohn, to play last game at Lady Eagle Park tonight

RUSK — It has been said that all good things must at some point come to an end.

For Sydney Littlejohn, playing in her home ballpark — Rusk High School's Lady Eagle Park — that conclusion will take place starting at 6 p.m. tonight when the Lady Eagles play on campus for the final time this season by taking on Fairfield.

As a side note, Littlejohn and shortstop Juliann Bowling, the team's two seniors, will be honored in on-the-field festivities which will be the highlight of Senior Night.

Littlejohn is the highest profile student-athlete to come out of Rusk since Cody Glenn, who graduated in 2007 and went on to play at the University of  Nebraska, and later in the National Football League.

Littlejohn, one of Texas' most dominating pitchers, has already penned an agreement to continue her academic and athletic endeavors at the University of Alabama, the NCAA Division I defending national softball champions.

The lanky right hander has tossed four perfect games this season, including one in the Lady Eagles' last outing Tuesday, an 8-0 win over Mexia.

The things Littlejohn can do with a softball are almost unthinkable to a layman, and down-right scary for most opposing batters.

Littlejohn struck out 18 in Tuesday's victory and she is sitting right around the 950-career strike out mark, so 1000 whiffs is something that is in the back or her mind, without a doubt.

Rusk closes out the regular season Tuesday night at Palestine and will play Celina at a location to be announced in a (Class 3A playoff) warm-up game on Apr. 26.

There is also a possibility that the Lady Eagles could squeeze an additional warm-up game in prior to the opening of the state playoffs.

Littlejohn has been mowing down opposing hitters with such regularity this year, that a Tyler television station's sports reporter deemed Littlejohn, the daughter of Paul and Lynn Littlejohn of Rusk, as the “Queen of K” — “K” being a baseball/softball term that describes a strikeout.

“The Queen” has been drawing not only dedicated Lady Eagle backers, but casual fans as well, to the ballpark to witness her pitching domination.

On Tuesday, several young girls that train at the same Tyler pitching facility as Littlejohn came out to see her in action.

Among those youngsters was Kelsey Traylor, who is the daughter of Cherokee County Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Traylor and wife Amy.

Miss Traylor and friends seem to be on to something and know a good thing when they see it.

Starting next spring, if everything goes well, Littlejohn will probably be easy to see, pitching on television for the Crimson Tide.

And that fact makes tonight — the last night that “The Queen” will be in action in Rusk — even more special, and one that should be cherished and not be missed.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • 07-22-Updated cover tease art.jpg Bullard's Rumbelow rapidly rising up through ranks in Yankee farm system

    In just over a month Nick Rumbelow, a former Bullard High School pitching standout, will be celebrating his 23rd birthday.

    Where he will be on that day is anyone's guess and may be classified as a “$64,000 question.”

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indian head.jpg Jacksonville Football Camp set for Aug. 4

    Jacksonville High School will be hosting a free football camp, targeted towards for all incoming 7th, 8th and 9th grade football players, on Aug 4-5.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10273379_236808723182178_4581202026987849136_o.jpg Rusk qualifies 4 teams for TTA state baseball tournaments

    There will we far fewer youth baseball players, coaches, family members and supporters roaming the streets of Rusk this week.

    That's because, county them, four teams from Rusk will be competing at venues around Central and East Texas in various Texas Teenage-Baseball Association state championship tournaments.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-22-Wright + mug.jpg Jacksonville finds new defensive a few miles down Highway 79

    Jacksonville athletic director/head football coach Chris Taber said that DeJoran “D. J.” Wright, former co-defensive coordinator at Palestine High School, was a logical choice to take over as the Tribe's new defensive coordinator for several reasons — most importantly was Wright's “X's and O's” philosophy.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • prca_logo1.jpg Wells roper snares a nice payday at Snake River Stampede

    Tyler McKnight, of Wells, and team roping partner Jake Cooper, won first place in the opening round of the Snake River Stampede (rodeo) that was held last week in Nampa, Idaho.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-19-SA + foto.jpg Jacksonville College's Abboud pays dividends for Israel’s WNT

    Jacksonville College women's basketball coach Leasa Ailshie is expecting great things from incoming sophomore Shahd Abboud, who hails from Shefa-Amr, Israel, when the Lady Jags report on Aug. 16 for the fall semester.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10273379_236808723182178_4581202026987849136_o.jpg Area softball teams wrap up play in TTA state tourneys

    Two Cherokee County youth softball teams concluded their respective runs at Texas Teen-Age Softball Association state tournaments earlier this week.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • JJHS logo.png Fightin' Maiden Volleyball camp canceled

    The Jacksonville Fightin, Maiden Volleyball Camp, scheduled to take place Monday thru Wednesday has been canceled.

    All registration fees will be refunded in full.

    For more information call the JHS Athletic Department (903) 586-2131.


    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-17-Hill + mug.png JC's Hill to play for Our Lady of the Lake

    Two down and one to go.

    Jacksonville College saw its second of four sophomores sign a National Letter of Intent late last week, when Davvin Hill signed with Our Lady of the Lake University, a NAIA school located in San Antonio.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-17-Vert. I art.JPG Harris keeps Fightin' Maiden hoops camp simple

    One would probably be hard pressed to find any summer youth sports camp with a more streamlined approach than was found at the Jacksonville Fightin' Maiden Basketball camp, which took place this week at the Jacksonville High School Gymnasium.

    “We just asked the young ladies for two things,” Tony Harris, Jacksonville High School head girl's basketball coach, stated on Wednesday. “First, we wanted them to have fun and secondly we wanted them to learn control — to be able to control their eyes, their body and the (opposing) defender.”

    July 17, 2014 3 Photos