Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WILLIAMSPORT — Marcy Dudgeon’s schedule rarely, if ever, has an open date.
Dudgeon, a junior at Westfall, spends most of her time on a field, a court or a diamond. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s what makes Marcy Dudgeon … well, Marcy Dudgeon.
“Being able to play the sports I love is what keeps me going,” Marcy said. “It’s hard to love three at once, but when I get the opportunity to play all three … it’s certainly a blessing for me. Being able to balance my crazy schedule can be tough. My parents help me a lot with that.”
Marcy is coming off successful campaigns in both soccer and basketball.
On the soccer field, as a goalie, she led the Mustangs to a Division III district semifinal appearance after the program won its first-ever sectional title with a 2-1 win over Peebles on Oct. 16.
On the hardwood, she led Westfall in scoring with an average of 12.8 points per game, alongside 7.1 rebounds per night. The Mustangs finished 13-10 after starting the year 3-7.
Now, she looks towards softball season where her team is coming off a 21-6 overall finish. With the help of Marcy, and a cast of talented players, the Mustangs claimed a Gold Ball with a 14-0 finish in the SVC as well — their fourth league title in the last five seasons.
Westfall ended its season with a 10-2 loss to Chesapeake in a Division III district semifinal. If their centerfielder has anything to say about it, that’s not going to happen in 2019.
“We definitely had an upsetting loss in the district tournament last year, so that’s motivation,” Marcy said. “But we want to win the Gold Ball again, that’s the big goal. Making a tournament run is important, too. We don’t like where we finished.”
While soccer and softball are enjoyable for Marcy, in terms of favorite sports, basketball takes the cake. And, there’s never an offseason when it comes to working on her game.
“Definitely basketball,” Marcy said. “I love the pace of it, the way the game moves and the way I get an adrenaline rush. Next year, we definitely want to improve and we want to start a lot quicker than we did this season. We’re ready to put in the hard work over the summer so we can go further in the tournament.”
Marcy’s junior basketball season came to a close with a 55-43 loss to Lucasville Valley on Feb. 13. That night, Dudgeon posted team-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds, doing whatever she could to extend the season.
In the end, it wasn’t enough. But her performance that night paints the perfect picture of who she is as a player, and as a leader.
“With us having no seniors, Marcy was kind of asked to step up and take on that leadership role,” Westfall basketball coach Jennifer Blue said. “She’s encouraging to the young kids, she has fun with them and she shows them that not all practices have to be miserable. The main thing about her is her leadership. She has grown over the past year in that area.”
Blue made a comparison that’s not new. The veteran coach had the chance to watch Marcy’s mother, Christy, play at the high school level as well.
And, as they say, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
“One of the biggest similarities between the two is their aggressiveness,” Blue said. “Christy would’ve thrown her body anywhere, just like Marcy does. Christy was more of an underneath player where Marcy would rather shoot the 3. [Under the basket] was one of the main areas where Christy excelled. But their biggest similarity was how hard they’ve played.”
The comparison between mother and daughter isn’t new to Marcy, either. In fact, Christy has told her stories about her playing days along the way … something that’s acted as an aid to her daughter’s development.
“She definitely tells me stories about how she excelled. She didn’t play a lot her freshman year, which is the same way I was,” Marcy said. “But she was able to excel into her junior and senior seasons. That helped me a lot when I was preparing for this season.”
So, who was the better player?
“Oh … I definitely play more sports than her so …,” Marcy said, laughing.
That debate may need to be settled at a later time. Marcy’s career isn’t over yet. She’s got two softball seasons and one year of soccer and basketball left in the tank.
But no matter the sport, she knows she’ll always have tremendous support in her corner.
“My parents and I are extremely close and I know I can always count on them to cheer me on. No matter how far any game is, they always make sure at least one of them are in the stands. They always make sure I have everything I need, and I’m thankful for my mom purchasing over 10 pairs of kneepads this season so my knees were always protected,” Marcy said, laughing. “They are my biggest fans and they’re always there to motivate me and give me the little push I need to keep working hard if I’m feeling down on myself.”
Marcy’s parents’ support, alongside the support of other family, teammates and coaches, are what keeps her confident. But her motivation to be great is rooted in a different source.
When her time comes to an end at Westfall, she wants her name to be remembered.
“When my career ends, I want to be a person that the girls who come after me, look up to,” Marcy said. “I also hope I inspire girls in younger grades to come out and play basketball because it truly is a sport that can change your life and help you build relationships with coaches and girls you typically wouldn’t be exposed to. That’s the legacy I want to leave.”