J.R. Tidwell/FCT Vina senior Chelsea Darracott signs with Judson Monday morning at Vina High Shool. Pictured from top left to bottom right are: Vina principal James Pharr, head softball coach Chase Cochran, Judson head softball coach Lee Jones, Judson recruiter Dana Birdyshaw, mother Kim Lewis and Chelsea Darracott.

Archived Story

Judson College signs two local players

Published 6:00am Wednesday, May 9, 2012
J.R. Tidwell/FCT Montana Terry signs with Judson College Monday afternoon at Tharptown High School. Pictured top left to bottom right: father Danny Terry, Judson head softball coach Lee Jones, Judson recruiter Dana Birdyshaw, niece Emmy Cate Alexander, mother Tara Terry, Montana Terry and Tharptown head softball coach Susie Sellers.


Judson College, a private Baptist school for women in Marion, Ala., now has two local girls among the ranks of its softball team.

Chelsea Darracott of Vina and Montana Terry of Tharptown signed with Judson’s softball team Monday.

Darracott of Vina has been playing softball since eighth grade, so for five or six years now.

“I like everything about it,” she said. “I like running bases with my speed, and I like the closeness with my teammates.”

Darracott plays shortstop for the Lady Red Devils, a position that is tough to refill after someone leaves.

Still, Vina head softball coach Chase Cochran sees the silver lining of losing such an experienced player.

“I’m happy she found somewhere to go,” he said. “She worked hard for us this year, and I wish her the best of luck.”

Judson College may be three hours away, but there are things about the institution that remind Darracott of home.

“It is a small school like Vina,” she said. “I also chose it because it is a Christian school.”

Judson head softball coach Lee Jones said that it is not unusual for him to find girls from this far away.

“We have recruiters all over the state,” Jones said.

“We found her and invited her to a tryout in November.

“I liked the way she could run, and she liked Judson. Just in that short time of watching her it seems like she gives you 100 percent.”

Speaking of Judson’s recruiting, Darracott said it was recruiter Dana Birdyshaw that ultimately made her decide to sign with Judson College.

Even though she will be away from home, Darracott said she is looking forward to attending Judson.

“Getting out on my own will be a new experience,” she said.

Three hours later and 35 miles to the east sat Montana Terry, who signed with Judson at Tharptown High School.

The Hatton native transferred to Tharptown this year but was unable to play softball for the school.

Terry said she has been playing softball since she was eight years old.

“I have been active ever since I was a kid,” she said. “[Softball] gives me a pure adrenaline rush.”

While Darracott was recruited to try out for Judson, Terry was brought to Judson’s attention in a different way.

“They came to school one day and asked if anyone wanted to try out for them,” she said. “I just kind of did it.”

Coach Jones said that Terry impressed him at the event.

“She came to a tryout, and she was one of the top prospects,” he said. “She hit the ball hard from both sides, and she seems to me like she has a lot of grit. I think she’ll do well.”

While Terry wanted to play softball at Judson, it was the school’s nursing program that ultimately made her sign on.

It was an accident at an early age that led Terry to pursue that profession.

“When I was seven I got into my dad’s truck after my brother’s practice but I didn’t shut the door or buckle up,” she said. “I fell out and he backed over me.

“They took me to Huntsville Children’s Hospital, and the nurses there were so nice that I decided I wanted to do that.”

She said that another motivation to become a nurse is to be able to take care of her grandfather.

It is true that college is a new experience for high school graduates, but those playing a sport have the advantage of knowing others as soon as they step on campus, and that makes life easier for everyone involved.

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