North Santa Rosa

Lady Royals – 2nd Generation Goes to State- updated with photos

The Lady Royals have two team members whose mothers were on the first Royals team to go to the State Softball Championship.  The JHS Lady Royals team of 1988 coached by Elijah Bell took the trip to South Florida 24 years ago.  Wendy Watson Upton and Kaprena Davis Kelley, were on that team and their daughters, Bayleigh and Morgan are on this team.

1988 (Wendy’s Senior year and Kaprena’s Junior year) the Lady Royals Slow Pitch Softball Team made it to the Final Four.  They lost out in the semi-finals of the state tournament 5-7.  Wendy was the pitcher for the team and Kaprena was the 1 st baseman. ” Even though we lost we called ourselves the PUBLIC SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONS because we were the only public school in the final four”, Wendy recalls.  The team finished the season with an 18-4 record.    Coach Bell had coached the team since 1985 and they won the District Championship ever year that he had coached. The team was District Champs in  85,86,87,&88; they were Regional Champs 86,87, & 88; Sectional Champs ’88.

Members of the team were: Wendy Watson Upton, Miranda Hatten Burkhead, Sheila Jordan, Angela Nowling, Jan Baker Brown, Kaprena Davis Kelley, Andrea Watson, Jane Hayes, Terrie Jones Weekes, Tracey Scott Kennedy, Mickie Smith Jasquith, Kara Scott Ritchie, Carlene Hawthorne, and Trisha Powell.

“There are so many wonderful memories about high school, however going to the Final Four is by far my greatest memory.  A dream come true!!!! ” remembers Wendy Upton.  The school, community and  parents rallied around the team and made the days before the trip to Bradenton, FL extra special.   Babo’s Restaurant in Century feed them before the game that got them to the Final Four (like tonight’s game).  Today, Andrea Watson, who played on the 1988 team that went to State, owner of Endless Delights, feed the girls before the game.  She remembers being feed before our big game in 1988 and she wanted to do the same thing for this team.

“I LOVE softball and nothing makes me prouder that my daughter, Bayleigh loves softball.  She loves her team!  Bayleigh looks up to the leaders on the team, Seniors, Tessa Hendricks and Becca Calloway.  I cannot think of 2 girls in the entire Jay High School that I would like for Bayleigh to look up to other than Tessa and Becca.  They are great kids on and off the field.  Bayleigh wants this opportunity for her entire team, but mostly for Tessa and Becca. ” said Wendy of what this means to her personally as she watches the Lady Royals make history.

JHS Softball 1988

Please send any photos of the 1988 team to  We would love to publish them.


Posted by on May 1 2012. Filed under Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Lady Royals – 2nd Generation Goes to State- updated with photos”

  1. MD

    This is a great story! Royal Pride!

  2. Wendy

    You are right Coach, lots of memories. However, I believe I was more nervous last night though. So proud of these girls and coaches. I love the pictures Jane! Especially Coach Bell in his tight shorty shorts! 🙂

  3. Elijah Bell

    Last night brought back some great memories. The girls back then and this years are somewhat the same. They played real hard and loved the game but most of all they wanted to win every time every time. Beating Jim Berry and Baker was very big for us that year. I know that this years team will represent Jay in the final four the best they can. I also know that the team and coaches will remember this year as very special. Best of Luck to everyone from Jay. Lastly I hope in 24 years that coach Watson will not be as ugly as I am now.Coach Bell

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