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Family First

By T.J. Morgan

Freelance Sports Writer

Pictures courtesy of Metcalfe County Schools and The Blythe Family

 

The Metcalfe County High School girls’ basketball roster is made up of only nine Lady Hornets. A close-knit group of girls from 12th grade all the way down to 7th grade. A group of girls whose focus has become we being greater than me. A group of girls whose focus has become family, as that’s what the nine girls that make up the roster pride themselves on being. That mentality begins with Metcalfe’s lone senior Anna Grace Blythe.

Anna Grace is entitled to be described in many ways. She is a scholar, in and outside of the classroom. Her hustle and determination are unmatched. Anna Grace is an unashamed believer. She is a leader in countless ways to her community. Put simply, Anna Grace is the role model that parents desire for their daughters.

It only makes sense for Anna Grace to be the matriarch of the varsity squad, as she is the oldest sister of six siblings. She gets to share a varsity uniform with one of the siblings, Lily Kate.

“Lily and I are best friends, so having her around me all day is definitely a comforting feeling. I enjoy getting to play basketball with her. I am blessed with that opportunity. I also enjoy getting to encourage Lily. I am able to guide her into the right direction and can give her advice so that she can make the most of her career.”

 It is that direction and encouragement that has helped the Lady Hornets secure the number one seed in the district this season.

While Anna Grace is the oldest sister, she is not the oldest sibling. Wyatt, her older brother, graduated from MCHS last year, leaving behind a decorated Hornet basketball career.

“Wyatt definitely set the bar high when it comes to sports in my family. I will never be able to beat Wyatt 1 on 1. However, Wyatt has been such an inspiration to me. From the age of eight, Wyatt would go outside and shoot and work on his game. He inspired me to have that same work ethic.”

Anna Grace and her brother Wyatt.

Anna Grace is also a big sister to Lucy, Beau, and Elli.

“I am very proud to be their older sister and am blessed to have them all in my life. We are all so close and I love watching them group up. I have learned so much about life in my experiences taking care of my siblings.”

It is those life experiences with her siblings that laid the perfect foundation for Anna Grace to succeed as the leader of the Lady Hornets. She is the connection for the Lady Hornets that creates an unbreakable bond in the face of the toughest circumstances.

“I believe one of the most important things a team should have is a strong connection within itself. We must be able to trust one another, we must be unselfish, and we must be able to communicate effectively. We are super close andspend a lot of time together outside of basketball. I believe the closeness helps us perform well together and accomplish our goals.”

 Earlier this season Anna Grace scored her 1,000th point for the Lady Hornets in the first round of the All-A tournament in Russellville. She has also recorded over 800 rebounds in her Lady Hornet career. While Anna Grace, individually, is a cornerstone of the Lady Hornet program, it is not her individual records that she feels an urgency to accomplish in her last season.”

“Being a senior, I have learned that I cannot take one second for granted and that I need to cherish all the time I have left. I tear up a lot when I think about it. With this being my last year, urgency is a perfect way to describe how I feel. I stay over after most practices to shoot, because I want to finish knowing I gave my all. I play every game with every ounce of effort knowing it is one game closer to my last. I now see just how short time is and how much we take it for granted.”

 Anna Grace’s desire to not take this season for granted and leave it all on the floor is evident. In her senior season, she is averaging nearly a double-double for the Lady Hornets. While her stats are impressive, her stat lines never portray the entire story of her performances. Every game, every quarter, every possession. That’s the mentality Anna Grace embodies. When Anna Grace steps on the floor for the Lady Hornets, it is team first, it is family first.

Just one big happy family.

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