Among the things Sheyenne Marshall loved to do were help others and play softball. So she would have been the first to sign up for an event like the upcoming Swing for Shiny softball tournament, a fundraiser to support college scholarships.
Instead, the event will be held in honor of Sheyenne, who died in a July 4 boating accident on Lake Norman. The 17-year-old was preparing for her senior year at Cox Mill High and was looking forward to a career in nursing, just like her mother and sister.
On Oct. 24, her parents, Kenny and Leta Marshall, will host the Swing for Shiny tournament at Frank Liske Park to raise money for the Shine On scholarship fund established in her memory.
“Sheyenne would definitely have been involved in any effort to help others,” said Kenny Marshall. “She was a leader and was involved in numerous clubs and activities that helped others. She even ran in several 5Ks herself to help raise money for different events.”
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The Marshall Family is deeply rooted in Cabarrus County, and Sheyenne was popular among her Cox Mill classmates and softball teammates. The upcoming softball tournament is just one effort that family and friends have planned to raise money for the scholarship fund.
Those who knew her best called Sheyenne “Shiny,” a nickname innocently and unknowingly given to her by a preschool classmate who couldn’t pronounce the name “Shy,” as given to her by her parents.
Kenny says she engaged people from an early age and always had a kind word and a smile for everyone she met.
Eighteen years ago, Kenny helped establish the girls youth softball program at Hickory Grove Baptist Church North in the Concord Mills area. He coached Shiny and her older sister, Montana, during their many years of play.
At Cox Mill, Shiny was a utility player who mostly could be found at first base. But her greatest impact on the team may have been her infectious personality and her ability to keep her fellow Chargers loose.
Teammates giggle as they remember stories of her accidentally splitting her pants during a practice last year, forgetting her uniform bottom for a game and having to wear black sweatpants instead, and telling teammates to plead to their coach before one game that she “couldn’t play bench today.”
“Now we really have a reason to play (this season),” said junior teammate Courtney Agee, fighting back tears. “We’re going to play our hearts out because she’s up there and we know she’s looking down at us.”
The Cox Mill softball team will play in the Swing for Shiny tournament next weekend. As of Oct. 10, the Marshalls were still accepting registrations from teams.
The one-pitch game format will be used in all three divisions: men’s recreational, men’s competitive, and women’s recreational. A Legends Game, which will include many of the teammates and opponents Kenny has played with during his own decades-long career of recreational softball, will also be played.
A silent auction, featuring sports memorabilia donated by pro football player Bradley Pinion and professional baseball players Kyle, Justin and Corey Seager (all Northwest Cabarrus High graduates and friends of the Marshall family) will be held at the tournament.
In addition to the softball tournament, other fundraising efforts in the works include the sale of T-shirts and bracelets, a Go Fund Me page set up family friends, a youth softball clinic being held by the Cox Mill softball team on Nov. 21 and a 5K run led by Cox Mill’s HOSA Club in the spring.
The Go Fund Me page has raised more than $9,000 and a barbecue held by Kenny’s relatives in Delaware netted $1,500. The Marshalls don’t have a set goal for the amount of money they would like to raise but hope they can total at least $30,000 to award scholarships in $1,000 increments over 30 years.
Joe Habina is a freelance writer: email@example.com.
Want to help?
For information about the Swing For Shiny softball tournament or Shine On scholarship fund, contact Kenny Marshall at 704-490-2463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Shine On GoFundMe page is https://de.gofund.me/shineonsheyenne.