‘Just be yourself’: Mattie Earl looks back on her time at Holly Pond

Holly Pond’s Mattie Earl. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to Holly Pond pitcher Mattie Earl, who will continue her athletic and academic career at Oakwood University in Huntsville

Mattie made many favorite sports and high school memories during her time at Holly Pond.

“One of my favorite memories was the time that coach Hayles let us play the bat game where you spin around 10 times and try to hit the ball off the tee,” Earl said. “She tried to do it with us but ended up falling down. That was pretty hilarious. Or the times that coach Destry Stone would take us out to eat after games. He did that pretty often. He knows how to keep us girls happy (laughs). Two of my favorite personal memories was when I hit it over for the first time and when I threw a no-hitter in the county tournament.”

Earl added, “One of my favorite high school memories was when we were reading Romeo and Juliet in Mrs. Laney’s 9th grade class. Me and my best friends decided it would be better if we just acted it out (laughs). It definitely helped me remember what the book was actually about. Another one of my favorite memories was when we had to tell scary stories in Mr. Russell’s 10th grade English and all of the stories were getting flagged and sent to the principal because they were too vulgar. My favorite memory from this year was definitely filling the inside of the school full of balloons for our senior prank. That was pretty fun.”

Mattie feels blessed to have played for some amazing coaches and learned so much from them.

“It was amazing. I was so scared as a little sixth grader to move up and play school ball, but the coaches were just phenomenal,” Earl said. “They knew when to take things seriously and when it was just time to let loose and have a little fun. They never stopped believing in us and never made us feel bad about yourselves. I learned from them that life is full of the unexpected. You never know how your game, or day, or just life in general is going to go, but you just got to keep your head up and keep pushing through.”

Earl learned a lot during her time as a Bronco and will definitely miss everybody she grew with at Holly Pond.

“I learned that things happen in your life that you never would expect to happen, but with a great community like Holly Pond and great friends, you can get through it,” Earl said. “What I’ll miss the most at Holly Pond is I won’t see some of my classmates again.”

Mattie gave some advice to the students that will be starting high school this upcoming year.

“High school is not as scary as it seems and it’s definitely not like in the movies,” Earl said. “Do not change who you are to try and ‘fit in’. Just be yourself.”

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