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LaBell’s hard work leads her to ACC

News Photo by James Andersen Former Alpena High School softball player Dayna LaBell, pictured here with her parents Bob and Jenny LaBell, recently signed a letter of intent to join the softball program at Alpena Community College. LaBell will join several of her former Alpena High teammates at ACC and has already gotten the chance to practice a little bit with the Lumberjacks.

Last spring, Dayna LaBell got a chance to practice a little bit with the Alpena Community College softball team.

After signing her letter of intent last month, LaBell will now get the chance to suit up for the Lumberjacks next spring.

LaBell was one of several recent local high school graduates, and one of several former Alpena High School players, to sign with ACC. By joining the Lumberjacks, LaBell will be reunited with several of her former Wildcat teammates including Aubree Sheldon, Nikita Cordes and Jade Schultz.

“It’s amazing. I’ve worked so hard ever since I was a little girl playing tee ball all the way up to travel softball,” LaBell said of signing her letter.

LaBell played two years of JV ball and two years of varsity ball for the Wildcats, helping Alpena win a regional championship in 2018.

“My experience for Alpena High School softball was fun and (a little) intimidating at times, but it was a good learning experience and it really taught me a lot about softball,” LaBell said.

This spring was been an interesting one for athletes all over Michigan as the Michigan High School Athletic Association postponed the remainder of the winter sports season in March and announced, in April, the cancellation of the spring sports season to deter the spread of COVID-19.

LaBell had an interesting spring as well, albeit one without sports. As a part of Alpena’s Early College Program, LaBell had a chance to stay in high school for an extra year to earn college credits.

Students in the program are allowed to participate in athletics up through their senior year, and LaBell was classified as a senior in 2019. As such, she got a chance to practice with ACC, but could only practice because she was technically still a high school student.

“Last spring I practiced with the ACC softball team. It was tough to watch because I’d rather be out there playing with them,” LaBell said. “But, it was awesome. I got to step up and (practice with) a team that’s a little more advanced.”

LaBell, who plans to enroll in ACC’s LPN program, has played both at catcher and in the outfield, which gives ACC coach Christin Sobeck plenty of options for fitting her into the lineup.

LaBell kept busy this summer playing softball on the Alpena Mystics and subbing in for the Alpena ThunderCats, including during July’s Thunderstruck Tournament.

Though the Lumberjacks’ 2021 season is still months away yet, LaBell is looking forward to joining her new teammates and forming new bonds and friendships.

“I’m excited because it’s really easy to make a quick bond with a team and I’ve always had that with every team (I’ve played on) so far,” LaBell said.

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