High Five-Mizell leaves lengthy legacy

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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Washington High School senior Ava Mizell will graduate in a couple of weeks and then look forward to continuing her softball career at Chowan University. The Washington native and National Honor Society member leaves a trail of success, having only lost one conference softball game in three years and being part of a playoff volleyball team.

  1. How old were you when you starting playing sports?

Ava: My dad (Mike Mizell) signed me up for tee ball with the boys when I was four. I started playing softball soon after that. I also played soccer and flag football growing up. We decided it wasn’t a good idea to continue when it was time to move up to tackle. I also played basketball for a year in middle school along with volleyball.

  1. What made you stick with softball?

Ava: My dad coached my teams growing up and always encouraged me to keep playing. I realized I was naturally good at running, so it was fun to get on base and try to score. He offered me $50 if I hit a home run, so one time I bunted and just kept running. They kept throwing the ball away and I made it all the way around. He put it in a bank account for me, so I didn’t get to spend it on the spot.

  1. How do you sum up your WHS volleyball career?

Ava: I started playing as a freshman to stay in shape for softball, but grew to really like it. I’m the setter, so I’m in the middle of the action all the time, which I love. It’s the same for softball because the shortstop sees a lot of action. We had our best season in a long time this fall and that was a lot of fun. Coach Rogers was serious about winning and Sarah Hedrick moving in from Florida gave us a huge boost. It was fun hanging out with different teammates and it was a rewarding season.

  1. What are your softball memories?

Ava: Going undefeated in the conference again this season was great. Winning the East and playing for the state championship last year was amazing. I’ll remember the day-to-day stuff as well, just sitting in class ready to go practice or play. Our coaches (Brad Horton and Dallis Tucker) worked hard to make our field one of the best around and we appreciated it. Going out to eat to celebrate winning was a lot of fun as well.

  1. What are majoring in at Chowan?

Ava: Criminal Justice with a plan to become a forensic scientist. Working in a crime lab would be really cool. My junior Biology class here got me really into that stuff. I’m excited for a fresh start, new classes and meeting new people. It’s far enough from home, but not far enough that I can’t come back when I want to.

Bonus question: Your family runs Scoops, the ice cream shop in downtown Washington. Do you still like ice cream after working there for a couple of years?

Ava: Yes! Our dark chocolate raspberry truffle is the best. I also really like our plain chocolate milkshakes. Working there has helped me learn customer service and to have a work ethic. Being around ice cream is an added bonus.