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Ballard named MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Female Athlete



Dugger Union Community School junior Kaylee Ballard was selected as the MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Female Athlete of the Month for January. Above, Ballard, middle, poses for a picture with, from left, U.S. Marine Corps CPT Michael Zbonack, DUCS Principal Darin Simpson, Indianapolis Colts Defensive End Kemoko Turay and DUCS Athletic Director Steve Hall.

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Dugger Union Community School junior Kaylee Ballard is no stranger to the community in Dugger.

She’s played sports on five different teams at the school, volunteered with several community projects and worked with various organizations.

All this was why Ballard was named Friday as the MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Female Athlete of the Month for January.

“It’s just really an honor to get it,” she said, adding, “Being from a small school, it’s really nice to know that, even in a small school, you get to be recognized the same as other schools because you don’t really see that very often — kids from tiny towns getting big awards.”

She was given an trophy during a ceremony that day at DUCS, and she is invited to attend the Battles Won Academy in Washington, D.C. in July.

Ballard was selected for the distinction for a number of reasons, according to a news release from the awards’ organizers, MaxPreps and the U.S. Marines — namely her academic achievement; participation on basketball, volleyball, softball and dance teams; and her volunteer work with the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and other community events and organizations.

“Kaylee’s involvement within the Dugger area exemplifies her fighting spirit …” the release states, adding athletes selected for the award “embody the fighting spirit, the willingness to engage and determination to defeat any obstacle, they excel athletically and academically and are focused on making the community around them a better place.”

Ballard also said she is thankful for the support she’s received from her family, teachers, community members and fellow students.

“This really makes me feel really empowered, like I can do anything,” she said. “It’s really good to have the kind of backup behind me and able to help me when I fall down and keep me up whenever I’m up.”

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