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Lone Grove's Dodson, Guthrie sign to play college softball

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

It’s not often that two athletes decide to sign their National Letter of Intent on the same day. Usually the celebration is reserved for one, but Lone Grove High School seniors Noa Dodson and Emmy Guthrie stayed true to their friendship by signing Wednesday in the Gary Scott Center at LGHS.

“Me and Noa actually played on a tournament team when we were younger,” Guthrie said. “We’ve played softball together since we were 10 years old, so to be able to sign today with her was awesome. I’m so blessed that we could go through this journey together.”

And while their softball careers won’t continue at the same school, it’s likely the duo will see each other.

Guthrie is going to the University of Oklahoma and Dodson is headed to Southern Nazarene University. The two universities are just 32 miles apart, which is much closer than a drive south to Lone Grove.

“Hopefully we’ll still stay in touch,” Dodson said. “Hopefully I’ll stay in touch with all of the softball girls.”

It’s likely the Lady Horns will stay in contact, as their close bond led them to two state runner-up finishes in the past four years. That kind of friendship doesn’t fade, and it was on display at the signing.

“The girls on the softball team are my best friends,” Guthrie said. “It’s awesome, even when you’re nervous up there signing, to just look out and see them. It calms nerves and it’s great to have them all here.”

Dodson knows how much a calming effect can help make things easier. She knew right away that SNU was the right choice based on the way they acted.

“I felt like it was a family as soon I got there,” Dodson said. “And I really liked how it’s a Christian school to help me with my beliefs and get more in touch with God.”

Meanwhile, Guthrie was way ahead of the curve as she picked OU during her freshman year. Recruiting has changed since then, but she is happy with the route she took.

“I’m grateful that I was in the recruiting process when I was younger because I could go all through high school working on specifically what I needed to work on for OU,” Guthrie said. “While everyone else was in their recruiting process, I had already finished it.”

Guthrie and Dodson can now say that process is in the rearview mirror, but the final part of the experience is one that Lone Grove head coach Jimmy Miller looks forward to each year.

The Lady Horns have sent a number of athletes to the next level, but the ceremonies never get old.

“Days like today are a lot of fun,” Miller said. “You get to see girls rewarded for the work they put in and how much time they spend (on the field), and how much they mean to our program. To get to see them go on and play college softball is awesome. It’s a really fun day and I’m so proud for both of them.”