The Orange Leader
LITTLE CYPRESS —
No time to rest.
That pretty much sums up Little Cypress-Mauriceville graduate Kayleigh Roy. The three-sport star, however, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Roy put up amazing numbers in three different sports — volleyball, basketball and softball — especially during her senior season — earning her the 2013 Orange Leader Athlete of the Year.
Though Roy will take her talents in softball to the next level at Angelina Junior College after having a superb run under Lady Bear softball coach Dena Adkins, she spent plenty of time in gyms across the area in both volleyball and basketball.
“It took a lot of dedication and energy to play all three but I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” said Roy. “You have to manage your schedule well. I remember struggling with my grades some my freshman year and then I knew that if I wanted to play all three, I would definitely have to get more organized and I was able to do that. I think just doing that will help me even more when I get to college.”
Roy was a “busy bee” from an early age with her mother Robin hauling her around to all of the camps and those Crush softball practices. She loved sports at a very early age.
“I’m just the type of person that has a lot of energy and passion about playing,” said Roy. “My Mom always supported me in everything that I wanted to do and she’s definitely my rock and my No. 1 supporter. She keeps me focused and has always wanted me to be the best that I could be.”
Roy is also the daughter of LC-M standout Troy Guilbeaux, who was the Leader’s Athlete of the Year in 1987 in which he starred in track along with football and baseball.
It’s hard to manage three different sports as Roy played many of them at the same time.
She would be at a select softball tournament in Mississippi one week and then a volleyball camp the next week.
During volleyball season at LC-M, she would still be playing select softball.
“There’s a lot of running around involved, that’s for sure,” said Roy. “It keeps you focused and it also keeps you in shape. Coach (Dena) Adkins tried to even get me to run cross country, and I was like, “No Way.’”
Volleyball produced some very good memories for Roy behind the leadership of long-time head volleyball coach Vicki Castino. The Lady Bears won the District 20-4A title during Roy’s junior season, advancing to the area round of the postseason.
“Volleyball was fun, we had a nice run through district a couple years ago,” said Roy. “We bonded well as a team. I really thought we would make the playoffs this year but we came up short but we played hard. We were young. They should be really tough this year.”
As a senior, Roy racked up 185 kills, 77 digs, 31 blocks and nine aces.
After the volleyball season ended, Roy remained in The Bear Cave, getting ready for basketball season under the guidance of first-year head coach Ricky Ryan.
Roy was notorious for crashing the boards, posting a slew of double-doubles throughout the season as she led the Lady Bears in scoring at 9.1 points a game, rebounds at 10.6 a game, and steals at 2.6 a game. The Lady Bears barely missed the playoffs, falling to Lumberton in their season finale.
“I rebounded well as a junior but I wanted to up my game and score more as a senior,” said Roy. “I have that skill for hitting the offensive boards and I knew that was what I did best to help the team. If you crash the boards, it can lead to easy baskets and I was able to do that pretty well.”
By the time late winter rolled around though, Roy started to concentrate heavily on her “passion”, which is softball.
Roy did a little of it all for Coach Adkins in helping lead the Lady Bears to three straight trips to the playoffs and 11 playoff series. LC-M went a tremendous 66-17 the last two seasons, going to the 4A Region III Finals in 2012 and the Region III Semifinals this year.
She played shortstop as a sophomore, moved to second base as a junior and went back to shortstop as a senior, where she became, arguably, the best shortstop in District 20-4A.
She did whatever it took to get things going offensively, batting in the No. 2 spot the last couple years. She could swing with power but was also brilliant with moving swift runners like leadoff hitters Ashleigh Jones and Mikaela Stegall, whether if it was cracking a single or putting down the perfect bunt.
As a senior, she batted .362 with four home runs and 27 runs batted in while also scoring 40 runs in front of perhaps her biggest fan - little sister Karter. Karter was also quite a “hoot” among the LC-M faithful, dressed up in Lady Bear gear, rooting “Big Sis” on.
“I would do anything that could possibly help our team win, that’s the way we all were,” said Roy. “We were like one big happy family, Coach Adkins always stressed that. We were like that on and off the field and that really made us be successful.”
The Miami Heat have had the “Big Three” the last three years in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh but the Lady Bears had their own version as well in the forms of Roy, star pitcher Raven Cole and dynamite third baseman Kassie James. The three formed a bond that will last forever.
“Those two are like my sisters, we know what each other are thinking before we even say it,” said Roy. “We’re always doing stuff together away from softball with the families. We even had our graduation party all together. Fun times, I’ll have these memories forever.”
Roy will be joined by James at Angelina JC while Cole will continue to hone her talents at LSU-Eunice.
Softball has been in Roy’s blood a long time, playing in youth leagues early on and then hooking up with the excellent Crush program.
“I had a lot of excellent coaches growing up, we all do that play for LC-M,” said Roy. “With the Crush I had good ones like Chuck McLain, then Robert Cole then John Harrell. They taught us about all the basics and fundamentals. Then we got to Coach Adkins, and you couldn’t have asked for a better one. She was tough on us but we like to call it tough love. She is a great coach and I’m so proud to have played for her.”
Roy will be rooming with Vidor standout pitcher Gia Johns up in Lufkin when she reaches Angelina Junior College.
“Last time I faced Gia, she beat us,” laughed Roy. “She’s great though, even though she will never let me live that down. It’s going to be fun there. I’ll have Kassie there too. We’ve got some pretty good young talent heading there and we really have a chance to be very good.”
Roy, however, gets to be a LC-M Lady Bear two more times at the end of the week.
She gets to play in the Southeast Texas Coaches Association All-Star Softball Game Thursday night at Port Arthur Memorial along with Cole and James and will play in the All-Star Basketball Game Friday night at East Chambers High School in Winnie with Lady Bear teammate Tara Thompson.
“It’s going to be fun to represent the school two more times,” said Roy. “I had so much fun in high school, making a lot of new friends and memories. I’m excited about going off to college though and hopefully making some more.”