Spell Signs Softball Scholarship with Louisiana College


Phobee Spell is continuing her softball career at Louisiana College.

Maziah Zenon, Assistant Photo Editor

Crowley High School senior Phobee Spell recently signed an athletic scholarship to play softball at Louisiana College in Pineville.

She, however, admitted that she didn’t think she’d ever play college softball there.  “When I was 12, I went to a camp there, but I never thought I would actually play there.” 

LC head coach Barry Roberts met Spell last summer when she was playing in a tournament for the  Louisiana Outbreak, a select softball team coach by Spell’s father, Brent.

 Spell made a visit to the campus recently.  “I visited the campus and coach Barry Roberts showed me around.  I got to meet all of the girls and schedule my classes.”

She said she has met all of her future teammates.  “I played travel ball with a few of them over the years.”

She is not sure what her jersey number will be in college. “I’m hoping that I get to stick with number 12, but if not, I’ll take what I can get.”  

She also hopes to continue playing shortstop.  “But, I’ll be happy playing wherever I can.”

She began playing softball for the Crowley Recreation Department when was three years old, and she played until she was too old. She also played on many all-star and travel teams.

“I think without playing travel ball, I  wouldn’t have gotten where I am today. Playing ball for four months out of the year isn’t nearly enough and not many college coaches come to little bitty Crowley to watch some ball.”

Spell mentioned how much of an impact her dad has had on her athletic success.  “The only coach I’ve ever had in my life was my dad, so he literally taught me everything I know about softball,” she said. “I wouldn’t be as good as I am if he didn’t push me and scream at me for all those years.”

He noticed at the age of 12 that his daughter may have a chance to play in college. “(I saw) her desire to want to improve and get better and better.”

Phobee Spell explained how softball affected her relationship with her dad. “We don’t always get along or agree on things, but for the most part, we have a good relationship, and I love him with all of my heart,” she said.  “Him being my coach really made us closer because we got to share something that we both love.”

Former Crowley High softball player Bailee Villejoin was another influence on Spell. “Ever since I was little, I looked up to Bailee. I watched her play, and all I ever wanted was to be like her.  I wear number 12 because it used to be her number.”

Spell was named the team Most Valuable Player and a member of the first team for all-district, all-metro, all-Acadiana, and all-state as a shortstop during her freshman season. She followed that up with second-team all-district as a sophomore, despite missing most of the season from a knee injury where she tore her medial collateral ligament (MCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and meniscus.
“My recovery was right at a year so you could about imagine how difficult that was,” said Spell. “If you know me, you know I can’t function without playing softball and not being able to do it, that tore me apart.

“I’ve never experienced anything more difficult in my life. I never expected that to happen to me. I didn’t understand why it did. I really prayed a lot during that time, I didn’t know what else to do. I felt like I was useless. My mom and my friends really helped me get through it. On top of going to physical therapy twice a week, (CHS athletic trainer) Cherisse (Pippin) worked out with me every day, so I did double the therapy. Without her, my recovery would have taken a lot longer.”

Spell admitted that when she got injured the thought crossed her mind that she was not going to ever play again.  “I was so mad that I had gotten hurt, and I didn’t think I was going to be able to come back from it. I didn’t want anything to do with softball,” recalled Spell.  “That lasted about a week until I realized how big of an impact softball had on my I never knew how much I loved playing the game until I couldn’t. I feel like my time got cut short so playing college ball is really making up for that.”

Brent Spell noticed how hard his daughter was pushing herself to get back to play the game she loved.  “To watch her get in that gym every day for rehab, and she would push and push and push herself.”

Phobee Spell did come back to play again, and she returned to her previous form.  In her junior year, Spell was named the team’s offensive MVP, and she was also named to the all-district, all-metro, all-Acadiana, and all-state first teams as a shortstop.  She also nominated as the team’s player of the year. The Crowley Ladies also reached the Class 3A semifinals after defeating the No. 1 Brusly Lady Panthers in the quarterfinals.

In her senior season, Spell helped the Ladies to the District 5-3A title and the Class 3A regional playoffs where they finished with a mark of 24-7 as the No. 4 seed.

Brent Spell, who plans to attend every game he can, gave his assessment of his daughter’s strengths.  “She has the ability to make new friends and new teammates. Her skill at defense and her hitting style is one of the best CHS has ever had. She set a record for the most home runs hit by a player in her freshman and junior years.”

Brent Spell had one final comment, ‘’I love you Phob’s to the moon and back. Keep swinging for the fence; no park is too big.   You did it, kid. Not a day goes by where I’m not proud of what you have and will accomplish.’’