MADISON — One of Boone County’s outstanding softball talents is headed to the Dominican Republic this summer. While there, Kaila Craddock of Sod will be displaying her athletic talents for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) American team. In addition, Craddock will be doing missionary work as well.
Craddock, a freshman at Scott High School, is a pitcher and utility player for the Skyhawks, who are having a banner season this spring.
Although she and her family live in Lincoln County, Craddock decided to attend Scott High as her high school of choice. West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (SSAC) permit a freshman to select whatever school he or she chooses to attend as a ninth grader. After that, such students are only allowed to return to their “home” school or transfer if they physically move from one location to another. Craddock’s “home” attendance area school would be Lincoln County High in Hamlin.
But Kaila’s father, Clinton Craddock, says “things just worked out” for his daughter to attend Scott. “I work for Alpha Resources, so it is easy for me to just drop her off and pick her up at school,” said her father, who also serves as coach of the West Virginia FCA team.
Kaila Craddock began her softball career as a youngster at Mountaineer Little League in Alum Creek. She played for Madison Middle School during those years and graduated to the high school program this past fall.
Clinton Craddock, who is also a minister at Sycamore Grove Baptist Church in Alkol, said this is the first year his daughter has participated in FCA softball. “I felt an inspiration on my heart to contact FCA softball,” he said. Now, he said the FCA will field softball teams in all of the 48 contiguous states of America.
Part of the FCA experience will include the trip to the Dominican Republic, he said. In the past, the daughter played for the Madison Base Burners travel team. Her FCA team will feature players from Kentucky, Mingo and Lincoln County as well as Sherman, Scott and Belfry (Kentucky) high schools. Clinton Craddock expects to be assisted by Barry Lester of Varney. He said the team will play between 45 and 50 games this summer.
Kaila Craddock has played “all positions except catcher,” displaying her versatility, her father/coach said. For Scott, she’s been the starting pitcher and played in the field. She was an All-Black Diamond Conference selection as a seventh and eighth grader.
Kaila comes by her athletic skills naturally, her dad said. Her mother and his wife, April Dunlap Craddock, is the sister of former Lincoln County High School basketball star Taylor Dunlap. They are the parents of two other children: Kameron, ten, who has played second base since the age of five; and Kaylor (named in honor of Taylor Dunlap), who is two months old.
During her trip to the Dominican Republic, Kaila will play two games a day for 12 days and do missionary work. She will travel to FCA headquarters in Orlando, Florida for a weekend of practices in May and June. Then she will depart from Orlando for the Dominican Republic on July 8.
In the meantime, of course, she hopes to help her Skyhawk team to a Class AA state softball championship. “That would make the trip a lot more exciting,” said her father.