Dutchtown’s Cruthirds signs scholarship with Southern Miss

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Chelsea Cruthirds, center, signs a national letter of intent to play soccer at Southern Mississippi Wednesday morning in DTHS’ gym. Also pictured are from left; grandmother Annette Cruthirds, dad Rhett Cruthirds, cousin Regan Wild, grandmother Sue Daigle, mom Cherie Daigle and grandfather Jack Cruthirds.

GEISMAR?– Dutchtown’s Chelsea Cruthirds knew the University of Southern Mississippi was the right fit for her from the first time she visited the campus. She made it official by signing a letter of intent to play soccer there Wednesday morning in front of the student body at DTHS’ gym on National Signing Day.

Cruthirds chose the Eagles over the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“I just had this feeling when I stepped on Southern Miss’ campus that it was the place for me from the people, atmosphere, program, coaches and everything about it,” Cruthirds said. “I looked at a lot of different schools from a lot of different places and states and ended up narrowing it down to two. My whole family thought there is where I needed to be, too. It just had the right feeling for me.”

Cruthirds is the school’s all-time leading goal scorer and counting having surpassed 100 in November. A first-team all-district selection since she was a freshmen and the two-time District 6-I Overall MVP, Cruthirds scored 44 goals last season and 32 as a sophomore.

“I open up a lot of opportunities for scoring and make a positive impact on the team,” Cruthirds said. “Hopefully, I can step in as a freshmen and maybe get some playing time. I hope to step on the field and make a huge impact for Southern Miss. That is my goal and that is what I want to do. I want to play right away but I know I have to work to get that spot and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get it  because I want to be a part of the team.”

But first there is unfinished business at Dutchtown. The Lady Griffins enter the playoffs undefeated after a run to the quarterfinals a year ago.

“My goal is to help Dutchtown win a state championship first,” Cruthirds said. “I am still on a team right now that is looking to make a huge impact in the playoffs. I want to help lead our team to victory. That is the top priority.”

Cruthirds said family is her inspiration and she looked up to her brother, Rhett Cruthirds, who had the opportunity to play baseball at the collegiate level.

“I thought that was the coolest experience for him,” Cruthirds said. “My parents have always been there for me. They are the rock behind me but it is not just them. It is my whole family. They come to everything and are always supportive. I have great friends and a great support system at school.”