Peyton Pusey entered her final high school season putting pressure on herself to excel. But it wasn’t until she had a conversation with her mom that the centerfielder, in her own words, “got into a groove,” and started producing numbers at the plate and in the field that led to her being named the DIAA Softball Player of the Year.

“I was struggling, and my mom told me, ‘Just have fun and enjoy your senior year because you won’t have another one,’” Pusey recalled. “What my mom said stuck with me and from there, the rest of the season was lights out.”

The 5-foot-6 center fielder batted .550 with five home runs, 20 RBIs, 27 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. She led the Lions to a 13-4 record and the second round of the state tournament.

“I started having fun and cherishing every moment and playing for my team, not worrying about how good I was doing,” she said. “They say that God works when you’re not working for yourself, and that was definitely the case with me.”

Pusey is the first Red Lion player in any sport to be named Player of the Year.

“She knows the situations you’re in in a game are sometimes hard, but she rises to the challenge more often than not,” coach Rich Edwards said. “She is politely humble and cares more about others’ needs than her own. She’s an impact person character-wise for us. She was able to continue to do successful things on the ball field without losing her integrity and the focus of why she came to the school in the first place, and that’s what drove her.

Pusey now heads to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where she will attend Marist College on a softball scholarship. It will be a new and different school for her for the first time since when she arrived at Red Lion as a kindergartener.

“It will be a new location, new team, new coach and so many unknowns, but I’ll be playing the sport I love,” she said.

Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game is June 17 in Newark

One of the greatest sports traditions in Delaware takes place on Friday night at Delaware Stadium.

The 66th annual Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game kicks off at 7 p.m. after a week of intense practices and other team-building activities held across the state.

Local players competing include Jahsir Williams-Boyd (Newark), Daniel Zaval (Christiana), Derek Gbena (Glasgow), Davon Lum (Hodgson), Delmas Conquest (Red Lion), Ky’Shawn Drumbo (Caravel), John Burns and Vaughn Highland (St. Mark’s). Newark High football head coach Jody Russell serves as an assistant to the athletic committee for the event.

Newark High all-star selections

Congratulations to the following Newark High student-athletes for earning “all-team” honors in their respective sports.

Girls’ soccer: Tirzah Furh, All-State Second Team; Miranda Hans, All-Conference Second Team.

Girls’ lacrosse: Lauren DeSantis, Jady Sim and Mei Tobin, All-Conference Second Team.

Baseball: Gavin Smith All-State Honorable Mention, All-Conference First Team;

Austin Calabrese, All-Conference First Team; Dustin Green, All-Conference Second Team.

Softball: Camille Washington, All-Conference Second Team.

Track & Field: Gabrielle Appiah, Blue Hen Conference Champion in shot put with a throw of 32’6”; Alejandro Lobo, third-place in conference one-mile race.

All-State softball selections

In addition to Pusey, Veronica Diomede (SS) and Mikayla Walsh (2B) of Caravel along with Ryleigh Thomas (P) and Morgan Hall (C) of St. Mark’s are All-State First Team selections.

Second-second team selections are Ashlee Trala (P) and Summer Montgomery (3B) of Newark Charter, Kendall Browne (C) of Caravel, and Regan Mendick (C) of Red Lion.

WilmU news

For the 12th time in the last 13 seasons, Wilmington University is the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Men’s Alfred R. Restaino Sr. Cup Champion for overall athletic excellence in male sports. … Newark Charter graduate Emily Ansah, who plays basketball for the Wildcats, was named to the 2021-22 Central Atlantic Collegiate Winter All-Academic Team. … Red Lion graduate Maiti Meginniss has committed to play softball at Wilmington University.

Wrapping it up

The new UD football era under head coach Ryan Carty kicks off at the Naval Academy’s season opener on Sept. 3. If you’ve never experienced a game in Annapolis, the pregame rituals alone are worth the trip. Don’t wait to get tickets as it most likely will sell out. … Red Lion is looking for middle school head coaches in the fall for field hockey and boys’ soccer. Interested individuals contact Ken Anderson at 302-345-6182. … Special Olympics needs volunteers for its Summer Games on June 24-25 at UD. It’s a great way for high school students to get a jump on community service hours. Register at sode.org.

Until next time … have a great sports week!

Have a sports tidbit to share? Email JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow on Twitter @SportsBuzzPost.

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