MUSKOGEE HIGH SCHOOL
By Nick Hampton
It was a busy summer for Muskogee High senior Jaliyah Simmons- full of travel ball games and college visits as she gets ready for her final fast pitch season as a Lady Rougher. Last year Jaliyah was 11-9 in the circle for Muskogee while hitting .467 with four home runs and 27 RBIs.
“Jaliyah is a five-tool player who can run, throw, hit and hit for power and may be one of the most talented players I’ve ever coached in high school,” said Hall of Fame Rougher head coach Marc Dicus. “She’ll do most of the pitching for us again this year, but she does have a freshman in Kyra Rowland
that she’s working with. She’s a good leader by example and a role model for our younger kids.”
Jaliyah grew up watching her older sister play softball and she started playing T-ball at the age of four and got into travel ball when she was nine. Though Rougher fans see her primarily as a pitcher that might not be her role in the future.
“I love playing in the outfield and chasing down fly balls and diving for balls and it’s just really fun and on my travel ball team I play shortstop primarily,” said Jaliyah who is also on the Rougher dance team at football and basketball games.
She’ll move into a leadership role this season as a senior and already has taken to that role with her understudy in the circle.
“I like to help Kyra out and let her know what coach expects and point her in the right direction in a nice way. I try to encourage and explain things to the younger players that they don’t know yet.”
Things are looking promising for Simmons and her teammates this upcoming season, says Dicus.
“We have eight starters back including our whole infield and we went 24-0 over the summer. We’ll have two pitchers this season and a move-in that should help us.”
With offers already in hand from Connors State and Murray State, Jaliyah says she would like to hit over .500 this season and, of course, see the Lady Roughers move past the regionals in the playoffs.