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College Signing: Jackson girls basketball’s Kalli Mayfield signs NLI with Lyon College

After being the Jackson girls basketball team’s leading scorer for her final two years as a starter, senior Kalli Mayfield officially signed her national letter of intent with Lyon College.

Mayfield, who averaged 12.4 points in 57 games over the past two seasons, had multiple offers to choose from including Missouri Baptist after earning all-conference and all-district honors back-to-back years.

“It means a lot that my hard work has paid off, and that I get to continue playing basketball — it means everything,” Mayfield said. “[Picking Lyon] was so easy, and I had visited a lot of places. When I got down the line the coaches were so nice, and the girls were all so welcoming. It felt like home down there.”

Mayfield verbally committed to Lyon in December, which is located in Batesville, Arkansas. Lyon is nearly three and a half hours away from Jackson, but the school is still close enough to where her family can come watch her suit up, which means a lot to Mayfield.

On top of being able to play college basketball, Mayfield is not only excited to play with her new teammates but to also face a higher level of competition.

“It will be good to see where I can fit in against the higher competition,” Mayfield said. “I couldn’t have been [the leading scorer] without my team and Coach [Tyler] Abernathy. They’ve pushed me to be who I am, and they’ve all been so supportive. I’ve just had the best team here possible.”

As a sophomore, Mayfield contributed off the bench for the Indians and played in 25 of Jackson’s 30 games, where she averaged 3.0 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest. The Indians went 23-7 overall that year and won the first of their last three Class 5 District 1 Championships.

Jackson graduated four of its five starters following that season, which then allowed Mayfield to step up and take one of the available starting positions, and she did more than just “step up.”

The Indians lost their only returning starter, center Alexis Allstun, to an ACL tear five games into the season, who had averaged 12.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest.

Mayfield finished the season as the leading scorer and rebounder (13.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG) and helped the Indians to win a second-straight district title. Fellow senior Mikala Liley was also a main contributor for Jackson that season with 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

The trio of Allstun, Liley and Mayfield started and played in every game this past season as the Indians finished 24-5, swept the SEMO Conference and won a third-straight district championship. Mayfield led Jackson with 11.9 points, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Mayfield first started playing basketball in fourth grade for the Osage League and was actually encouraged by Coach Abernathy to attend Jackson.

“I came to summer camp in eighth grade for Jackson, and I had not gone to Jackson before that,” Mayfield said. “I talked to Coach Abernathy and he’s like, ‘I really think you could fit in here,’ and that just really made me want to come to Jackson.

“I was really unsure before that point if I wanted to transfer schools or not, and he made that choice really easy for me. I’m so glad I came to Jackson.”

Mayfield is not sure about what she wants to do for a profession just yet, but she will be studying psychology at Lyon. She is doing so because she’s interested in the way people think.

One challenge Mayfield thinks she will face in college will be managing her school work while being an athlete.

“I never like had to study here at high school — it just all came easily to me,” Mayfield said. “I don’t think college will be the same way at all, and I think it will be stressful because I have no idea what I want to do.”

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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