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Tahlequah Sequoyah’s Ashlyn Guinn – Athlete of the Month Presented by UFFC Mortgage

It’s been a long 18 months for Tahlequah Sequoyah senior Ashlyn Guinn and the Sequoyah Lady Indian softball team and a lot has happened. In March 2019 the world received the shocking news about the Covid-19 virus and the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association shut down all athletics in the state for the rest of the spring. Later in the summer the Cherokee Nation extended that ban to include the entire 2019-20 school year for Sequoyah. Many student athletes decided to leave the Indians athletic programs and transfer to schools that were playing sports. But Ashlyn Guinn stuck it out and now it’s back to the diamond. “Ashlynn was on our state championship team in 2018 and has been with us for four years,” said Lady Indians coach Jeff Turtle. “She’s had to step up to become a strong team leader because it’s like we’re almost starting from scratch with so many young girls.”

The layoff was agonizing for Guinn as she watched teammates leave and play elsewhere. “The hardest thing for me was watching my friends who went to other schools play and win titles and me not being able to do anything,” said the pitcher/third baseman. “I did learn a couple of new pitches and worked on my hitting. As a freshman and sophomore, I didn’t have to hit much because we had so many talented seniors ahead of me, but I knew I would have to step up this year and be a stronger hitter.”

  

Ashlyn acknowledged that many of the seniors on that state championship team served as role models for her as well as her father. “My dad has been a big motivator for me. After he gets off work, he’ll catch me no matter what kind of day he had.”

Guinn feels the pressure of being the senior leader on a young team, but she says that’s alright. “I honestly like the pressure and think I play better that way and I like leading my team. But I do feel a little pressure as a leader to try and bolster the confidence of the younger girls by encouraging them and getting them to have fun.”

It’s that sense of encouragement she says she would like to be remembered for after her career at Sequoyah. Ashlyn plans to attend Connors State College following graduation and pursue a career as a physical therapist.

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