All in the family for Callaway’s Dukes
Published 10:46 am Wednesday, May 22, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
She’ll be carrying on the family tradition.
Jasmine Dukes, a four-year starter on the Callaway High softball team, is heading to South Carolina to attend Claflin University.
Dukes has signed a letter of intent to join the softball team at Claflin, and she made it official during a signing celebration this week at the school.
Among those there to enjoy the moment with Dukes were her parents, both of whom graduated from Claflin.
Dukes visited the campus and decided Clafin was the right fit for her.
“Both of my parents went there, so I decided to give it a look,” Dukes said. “We went up there for a visit, and it was very nice. The classes aren’t too big. It’s very family-like up there, so that kind of caught my attention. It’s not too many people, so I won’t get lost in the crowd. They care about all of their students.”
Dukes said her parents didn’t try to influence her decision.
“They didn’t say too much about it, because they didn’t want to make it like they were making the decision for me,” Duke said.
Dukes joins a program that is riding high.
Claflin went 37-19 last season and was unbeaten in conference play during the regular season with an 18-0 record.
Clafin’s season ended with a loss to Winston Salem in the CIAA tournament.
Dukes is leaving a Callaway program that enjoyed plenty of success as well.
The Lady Cavaliers made it to state the past four seasons, and in 2017 they earned the first state-playoff win in the history of the program.
For Dukes, being a member of the Callaway softball family has been a special experience.
“I enjoy all of my teammates,” Dukes said. “I built bonds with girls I didn’t think I would. We all became like sisters.”
Robyn McCann, Callaway’s head softball coach, has known Dukes since her elementary-school days when she was one of her teachers.
“It’s been amazing to watch her grow up, watch her become an amazing young lady, not only on the field, but in the classroom, and in the community,” McCann said. “Jasmine works hard, and she’ll be an asset to any college.”