Helena’s Presley Lively named Female Athlete of Year

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

In a phenomenal year for women’s sports across the county, Helena’s Presley Lively made big waves once again and rose to the top to earn Shelby County Female Athlete of the Year.

Lively entered 2024 with sky-high expectations after lighting up the scoreboard with consistent excellence at the plate.

She led the county as a junior with a .535 batting average, 76 hits and 67 stolen bases while also earning 31 RBI to take the Huskies to the state tournament in 2023.

Even with the weight of those preseason expectations on her, she still found a way to not just reach them, but surpass them for a phenomenal senior season that ranked as one of the best in the entire state.

Lively improved on her average by 15 points to repeat as the county batting champ with a .550 average, cruising to the title by 47 points.

In addition, she once again led the county in hits with an increased total of 82 hits as the Huskies lead-off hitter. Those hits helped earn her a .620 on-base percentage that led Shelby County.

Her quick speed and athleticism were a big part of her success as she turned routine singles into trips to second and third with extra base hits and stolen bases.

She flew her way to the top of the stolen base total in the county with 56 stolen bases on 61 attempts, and she earned 13 doubles and a county-high 13 triples.

Lively’s knack for finding extra bases led to big success for both herself and her team, earning a county-high 75 runs in 149 at-bats and helping Helena match its success from a year ago.

Her plays on both ends of the field led the Huskies to another area championship, a 3-0 run through regionals to clinch a Central Regional title and a fifth straight appearance in the Class 6A state tournament.

The accolades came in for her once the season ended as she took not just the Shelby County Hitter of the Year award but Class 6A Hitter of the Year as well, earning state-wide recognition for her successful last season in a Huskies uniform before joining South Alabama’s softball program.

Lively’s success wasn’t limited to the softball field. A few months before she returned to the diamond, she took the court for her final volleyball season and made a big impact for the Huskies.

As a defensive specialist for Helena, she had 13 games with over 10 digs, including in the first six games of the season. Those big performances gave her 236 digs in 60 sets, which pushed her over the 1,000 career digs mark as part of her key role in the Huskies serve receive.

Haley Trotter of Chelsea had her own big year across multiple sports, earning Shelby County Player of the Year honors for girls basketball after averaging a double-double of 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game to lead the Hornets to their first Class 7A Elite Eight and making an impact as an outside hitter and middle blocker for Chelsea’s volleyball team.

However, Lively’s impact in the biggest moments and phenomenal numbers on the stat sheet helped her become one of the best athletes in the state, and in the process, earn Shelby County Female Athlete of the Year.