By R. Alan Richardson
Madison Henry is a winner. How do we know? After suffering a (mostly) season-ending injury, the senior All-State catcher never seemed to let it get her down. She attributes that to all her friends, family, and coaches that encouraged her during that troubling time. “Without them, and without my acceptance of Christ into my life this past summer, I honestly don’t think I would have been able to stay as positive as I was.”
Henry was the dugout-screaming, teammate-encouraging, drums-playing (well it was actually a five-gallon bucket) leader during her injury and rehab process. That positive attitude is only part of the reason that the University of North Georgia Lady Nighthawks came calling to sign her to a Division-II scholarship to play softball. She will join teammate Alissa Webb as a freshman next season on one of the premier programs in the state and nation. The Nighthawks were ranked number one nationwide for much of the season a year ago finishing in the Top 10. The other reason they signed her is that she can flat-out play. Her bat, defensive prowess behind the plate, and leadership will play a big part for North Georgia next season.
Here’s some insight from Morgan’s senior. “Every time I went up to North Georgia to visit I fell in love with something new. It just feels like home up there. I had other offers from Wingate, Mississippi College, and West Georgia, but this is where I felt like was the best place for me and my family. I feel like my role there will be as a leader by example in the physical aspect, but I also want to lead in a way of spreading the Word of God as well.
Rehab has been going good. I have a few weeks left, and then will be able to start doing more softball related stuff in January. I’ve been going to the gym for workouts throughout all of this, but can only work on my arms. After all the rehab is completed, I don’t think this injury will slow me down much, if any at all.”
Her resume throughout high school and travel ball is filled with awards and recognitions including being Region Champions and State Runners-up in 2015 as well as a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2017 and 2018. Henry was named second team All-Region in 2016 and first team in 2017. She also received an honorable mention this past season. Had it not been for the injury, it’s likely she would have been a first-teamer once again. The coaches recognized her with the Work Ethic Award in 2017, the Offensive Player of the Year that same year, and was crowned the Defensive MVP by her travel ball squad as well. In 2017 she also received a second team All-State nod.
Through all the ups and downs, this young lady has remained humble. Her closing remarks went like this. “Throughout the years I have had many people along the way to help me with my success. The first would be my parents. Without them none of this would be possible. Then my coaches of course: Coach Connelly, Coach McBay, Coach Dooley, Coach Rylee, Coach Griggs, my travel coaches, and all of the instructors that I’ve had over the years. I also want to shoutout to my sisters, Shelby and Ryleigh, for always being my biggest fans no matter how I’m performing. Also, without Jessi Fincher and other FCA leaders I wouldn’t be where I’m at today as well. Without all of these wonderful people, plus the rest of my family, I would not be as positive about my injury as I am today. Also, my success wouldn’t be as sweet if I didn’t have them along for the ride.
I just want to thank everyone for being a part of my high school experience. I am so blessed to have all the friends, family, and coaches in my life that I do. Without them I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today.”