Jackrabbits News · Lady Jackrabbit Softball Selected NFHS Spirit of Sports Award

Texas Softball Team Selected as Section 6 Recipient of

NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2019) — The Forney (Texas) High School Softball Team has been selected as the Section 6 recipient of the

“National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.

A few days before the Forney High School softball team was to play a three-game series against

Mansfield Lake Ridge in the 2017 Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 5A Region II semifinals, an unspeakable tragedy beset the team.

As teammates left a dinner party, 14-year-old freshman outfielder Emily Galiano was fatally injured when she was struck by a vehicle driven by one of her teammates.
Understandably, team members were devastated by the tragic loss of their teammate. The softball field became a sanctuary for the girls – a place where they could mourn and honor their fallen sister.

At the end of the season, the team decided to dedicate the entire 2018 season to Galiano, to make it to the state tournament, and to win the school’s first softball state championship in her honor. The team’s motto would be “Play for Em.”

Following an 8-6 start, Forney won its next 23 games and advanced to the UIL Softball State Tournament. During the playoffs, Forney defeated defending champion The Colony in the area round, won two close games by the score of 4-3, and experienced some miracle plays.
The Jackrabbits advanced to the state finals against Richmond Foster. In that title game, leftfielder Caroline Tedder made a game-saving catch against the outfield fence to give Forney the game and the state title. At home plate, Emily’s twin sister, Madison, was presented the championship trophy as the promise to her sister was fulfilled.

About the Award
The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 6 are Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.
While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.