LUMBERTON — The news that Lumberton junior Madison Canady received on Saturday came from out of left field for the standout softball and basketball player.
After playing in a travel softball tournament in Alpharetta, Ga., news traveled quick to Canady and her family of the recent accolade she was awarded.
“People started blowing up mine and daddy’s phones, and then I saw the text the texts saying I got Athlete of the Year, and I had to ask if I got it,” Canady said. “I went crazy at the restaurant.”
Canady was named the 910Preps female Athlete of the Year at the 910Preps banquet held at the Crown Coliseum on Saturday night, an award that came after being among the area’s best for the Lumberton softball and girls basketball team.
“I got the letter and thought it was going to be a nice banquet to get recognized for making the all-region team, but getting female Athlete of the Year is just amazing,” she said. “I had no idea I was going to get close to that.”
As a force on the hardwood and the diamond this season, Canady was named all-Sandhills Athletic Conference and all-county in both sports. Her ability to succeed in the two different sports comes from her attitude, according to Lumberton softball coach Mackie Register.
“She will compete in everything,” he said. “If you play her in checkers, she’s going to try and beat you. She wants to win and you can see that on the court or on the field.”
For the softball team that advanced to the second round of the state playoff, she hit .477 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs. Canady also garnered the county Player of the Year for the third straight season.
This season came after a quick turnaround after stepping off the basketball court and a third round appearance in the state for the Lady Pirates. As the main post presence, Canady averaged a double-double with 16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds a game this season.
“I just wanted to do more than I did last year and achieve more than I did last year,” Canady said. “I always want to do better than I did as far as stats, mentality and all of that. I always want to do better than the year before.”
The award, which was presented at the event put on by the Fayetteville Observer, was for the top student-athletes in the 10-county Cape Fear region the publication covers.
“For somebody not in the Fayetteville area to win it in the first year they present it, that’s impressive,” Register said.
In attaining the award, Canady feels repeating will require more from her heading into her senior year.
“They could’ve chose me to win a smaller award, but I won the big one so that means more than just the people around here see me as just a great athlete,” Canady said. “I feel it is going to be a little tougher (to repeat), but I know what I can do and I have a good shot at winning it again or coming close.”
But Register has no worry about his rising senior power hitter following up this year’s performance.
“She works just as hard as she does any other year,” Register said. “She puts the work in, and that’s what makes her successful.”
This season on the softball diamond, Madison Canady picked up her third straight Robeson County Player of the Year recognition.