Miami Trace High School senior Sidney Payton arrived at a milestone moment in her life on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, when she signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Ashland University.
The ceremony was witnessed by Payton’s parents and sisters, as well as many friends, teammates and at least two of her coaches.
Payton will be a member of the Eagles’ softball team and pursue a course of study in graphic design, along with business or marketing.
Payton said her school choice came down to two: Ashland and Ohio Dominican.
“When I was choosing, it was based off of, ‘if softball were to end tomorrow, where would I want to call home,’” Payton said. “I just fell in love with Ashland and that was where I wanted to be.”
Payton has enjoyed an athletic career at Miami Trace that has included one year of volleyball, two seasons of softball and three seasons of basketball, with a fourth about to begin.
The 2020 spring sports season in Ohio was suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
How has her time been at Miami Trace?
“It’s been great,” Payton said. “Everyone is so welcoming. It just feels like family here. I feel like everyone just gets along with everyone.”
Payton named Mrs. Kayla Dettwiller and Miss Amy Bush.
“Mrs. Dettwiller is my basketball coach this year,” Payton said. “She teaches basic design and that’s what I want to go into. So, I’ve definitely looked up to her a lot. She’s helped me with a lot this year.
“Miss Bush teaches English here at the high school,” Payton said. “She’s always been kind of like a mom figure to me. She’s always there for me.”
As for a highlight of her softball career so far, out of many, Payton said:
“We were playing Court House my freshman year and I hit back-to-back home runs, at their field,” Payton said. “And, it was with the same ball. That was kind of cool.”
In addition to her parents and sisters, Payton was joined by family members, including her grandfather, and grandmother, at least one aunt and one uncle and some cousins.
Payton said she was kind of looking to doing things on her own, yet kind of not when she transitions to college. One of her concerns, she said, would be in managing her time most effectively.
“Myself and the rest of the softball coaching staff were honored to coach Sidney Payton for the last three years,” Miami Trace head softball coach Joe Henry said. “She has been a blessing for the Miami Trace Panthers softball team.
“From her starting role as a freshman, she was a leader and team player,” Henry said. “Sidney played top-class travel ball all over the United States. Sidney is not just a softball player, she is a great student-athlete that takes her grades seriously.
“Her attitude makes her the wonderful person she is, on and off the field,” Henry said. “She will take her talent and dreams to Ashland, Ohio, where she will play hard, have fun, and be successful in all she does.”