By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Ever since Destiny Molden burst on to the high school sports scene as a seventh-grader in the 2009-2010 school year, she has been a go-to player for the Southwestern Lady Warriors in both softball and basketball.
After another successful year from Molden, who is now a junior in high school, has been named the 2013 Commonwealth Journal Female Athlete of the Year.
With all of the talented female athletes that are within the Somerset-Pulaski County area, the Lady Warrior junior is honored to be named the athlete of the year for 2013.
“Above all, it's an honor to have even be nominated for this award,” began Molden. “I am humbled with all of the great female athletes in this county to be given this award.”
During the 2012-13 high school girls basketball season, Molden helped lead the Lady Warriors to another 48th District title. As a sophomore, Molden averaged 10.5 points per game and led the Lady Warriors with a team-high 80 percent free-throw percentage.
“As for basketball, I put all of my spare time during the season working on my weaknesses,” told the Southwestern point guard. “My Lady Warrior team has reached our goal at the middle school level with a state championship and I expect with all of our work ethics that we will reach that same goal at the high school level before we graduate. That's what drives me in basketball.”
Molden was grateful for the opportunity that former Lady Warrior head coach Tim Rice gave her by allowing her to join the starting five as a seventh-grader.
In the 2013 softball season, Molden’s stellar play played a pivotal role in Southwestern’s eighth straight district championship. In her sophomore campaign, Molden had 49 hits (8 doubles, 4 triples, and 6 home runs), a .471 batting average, and 49 RBI’s.
“As for softball, I'm much more laid back,” said Molden, who has played both shortstop and catcher for Southwestern. “The game comes more natural to me. I have to give a lot of credit to Coach (Jim) Woodall for believing in me at such a young age and helping me over the years to grow as a player.”
Molden, in her early years as an athlete at Southwestern, has been named to the Commonwealth Journal All-County teams in both of her sports multiple times. Molden has been selected to the softball team three times (2011, 2012, and 2013) and the basketball team on a pair of occasions (2011-12 and 2012-13).
Although Molden has had individual success over the course of her career, she is more focused on winning regional championships, something she has yet to do during her prep career. Molden, however, is not going to let her time run out at Southwestern without having at least regional championship under her belt.
“My goal in both softball and basketball is always to compete for a regional title with my teammates,” told the SWHS athlete. “Coming up a little short in both sports this past years only drives me to work harder to help my teams reach our goal.”
Molden and the rest of her Lady Warrior counterpoints are off to a good start in the 2013-14 basketball season under first-year head coach Stephen Butcher.
“This basketball season has started out tremendously well,” stated the junior. “I am having so much fun this year with the new up tempo style of game our new coach has put in – Coach Butcher is awesome. He has a great way of pushing me to my full potential. Everything with coach is about us as players making each other the best we can be to become the best team we can be.”
The Southwestern standout athlete had a slew of people to thank for helping her get to where she is today, including her parents and former coaches.
“I would like to thank all those who have helped push me in both softball and basketball to be the best I can be,” thanked Molden. “I would like to thank past basketball and softball coaches – Todd Watters, Chris Fitzgerald, Chuck Fourman and Rick Corder.”
“Most of all, I'd like to thank my dad for all the late nights not only in the gym but on the field, as well. I'm blessed to have someone who loves and cares for the game just as much as I do. I will always cherish those memorable moments with him regardless of what the outcome may be. And, of course, I would like to thank my mom for always being my number one fan.”
2013 was a year to remember for Molden, but look for her to have an even better year in 2014.