USSSA announces scholarship winners, inductees for Hall of Fame classes of 2019 and 2020.

Five local current and former area high-school athletes were recognized by the United State Slo-Pitch Softball Association and the Cavalier Athletic Club for their academic efforts during a banquet Saturday night at Fort Lee.

The five students — Madylin Degan, of Prince George High School; Taylor Cutchins, of Dinwiddie High School; Leigha Hill, of Thomas Dale High School; and Lindsay Temple and Mackenzie Vairo, both of Matoaca High School — each received scholarship awards from USSSA during the 11th annual banquet, held at the Lee Club. In addition to their academic achievements, each of the winning students also submitted an essay.

Degan is a member of the PGHS varsity soccer team, and her soccer honors include: First Team All-Academic and All-Conference. She maintains a 3.913 grade-point average and plans to major in diagnostic medical sonography at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I could not be more grateful to have been chosen for this scholarship and cannot wait to see what the future holds for me,” Degan said after receiving the awards.

Cutchins, who now is enrolled at the University of Lynchburg studying psychology, was a standout cheerleader.

“I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity that the program has given me,” Cutchins said. “I am thankful for this scholarship and plan to pursue a career in occupational therapy.”

Hill is a member of the TDHS fast-pitch softball team and maintains a 3.7 GPA, She plans to attend Longwood University, where she has committed to play for the Lancers’ women’s softball team.

“I am beyond thankful to be a recipient of this scholarship and glad to be part of this event,” Hill said.

With a GPA of 4.0, Temple has lettered four straight years in volleyball at Matoaca and has received numerous recognitions for her ability. She also is a member of the school’s National Honor and National Art Honor societies.

“I am blessed and honored to have been chosen for this scholarship,” said Temple, who plans to major in early education at James Madison University.

In addition to playing volleyball and softball for Matoaca, Vairo also is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, DECA and the National Art Honor Society.

“I would like to thank the Virginia USSSA Hall of Fame for selecting me for this scholarship,” said Vairo, who is deciding between Richard Bland College and Longwood for her collegiate studies. “I also, want to thank my friends and family for getting me to this point.”

2019, 2020 HOF classes recognized

In addition to the scholarship presentations, the USSSA banquet also inducted several players into its Hall of Fame for 2019. They were Jimmy Cutshaw of Bedford, Marty Franciscus of Chesterfield, Jim Patterson of Annandale, Benny Spiller of Mechanicsville, and Mike Divers and School Fisher, both of Roanoke.

Each inductee was presented with a USSSA Hall of Fame ring, bat, certificate, softball and coin.

Additionally, the inductees of the HOF Class of 2020 were announced. They are David Ray LeSuer of Dillwyn, Brenda Ford of Buena Vista, Steve Whitley of Smithfield, David Blaha of Dinwiddie, H.F. Haymore, Jr. of Danville and Bill Coleman of Richmond.

By Kristi K. Higgins, Staff Writer

Kristi K. Higgins can be reached at 804-722-5162 or khiggins@progress-index.com.