Marianna High sends two softball players to the next level

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Mark Skinner | TIMES - Pictured are Gabby Bess and Cheyenne Blackmon with their future jerseys.

Last Wednesday afternoon, friends, family, classmates, teammates and coaches gathered in the auditorium of Marianna High School to watch two senior softball players sign on the dotted line to continued not only their softball playing days but their education.
Senior Gabby Bess will be moving on up to Chipola College while fellow senior Cheyenne Blackmon will be traveling a little further, to Thomas University.
Bess has been a mid-infielder at Marianna High throughout her playing days there but said she feels she will be looking at anchoring down second base for the Lady Indians. Bess began her softball playing days at Optimist Park at age seven. She fell in love with the sport then and loves it still today.
When asked about what attracted her to Chipola she was quick to answer, “I’ve known the coaches since I was in middle school.” She had opportunity with Keiser University also looking at her but Bess said, “It will be great to play at home sort of.” Her favorite part of softball is the feeling of when you win a game.
Bess is very realistic about where she is today, both academically and athletically, “I want to thank my family, all the coaches I’ve had in my lifetime and God.”
She excels off the field as well as on the field. She is a member of BETA, Anchor and National Honor Society. She has a 4.22 GPA which will be an asset at Chipola as she plans to major in nursing.
Bess is the daughter of Jessica Mooneyham and Howard Bess and she has one sister, Jazmine Bess who also plays softball. She is the granddaughter of David and Sandra Mooneyham and Yvetta Bess and Howard Bess, Sr.
Cheyenne Blackmon is also no stranger to softball, having started at age five when she played up with the six and seven-year-old teams. She says her love of softball has never wavered.
Blackmon played her eighth-grade year at Marianna Middle School before playing her ninth and tenth grade years were spent at Mosley High School. She returned to Marianna High School for her junior and senior year.
Teammates of Blackmon are very fortunate in that her favorite part is the team spirit, “My favorite part about softball is basically playing with your teammates, mainly they make it more fun.” She said she chose Thomas University for that reason, “I chose Thomas because I could connect there and I could connect with the players.”
Blackmon is the daughter of Tabitha Arline and Don Holland. Softball is definitely in her family with sister Deanna Holland signing out of MHS last year to play at Alabama State this year. Blackmon is an A-B student and plans a career in occupational therapy.
She is very eager to thank those who helped her get where she is, “I want to thank my mom and my stepdad.”
Congratulations to both of these girls on their signing to play at the next level while continuing their education from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.

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