Mattie Meine, senior volleyball/softball player at DeSoto Central High School in Southaven, has been named the first Hustle High School Athlete of the Monthpresented by Campbell Clinic and will be recognized at the team’s Friday, Dec. 22 matchup against the Austin Spurs.
“I’m just very honored to be selected, especially since I’m the first one,” said Meine. “I didn’t expect it. It’s really cool to be represented as the first Hustle Athlete of the Month and I’m glad I can be there to represent my teammates and coaches.”
Meine, a libero on the volleyball team coached by Margaret Falatko, and a shortstop on the softball team led by Phyllis Hicks, is considered as one of Mississippi’s top athletes in each sport and has already made her decision to sign with Itawamba Community College to further her education and softball career.
“I started playing volleyball when I was in seventh grade and I played on the DeSoto Central Middle School team,” Meine said. “I never played competitive volleyball, but I started playing T-ball when I was about 3-4 years old. I can’t remember the first time I picked up a bat, but it seems like I’ve always played softball. Volleyball just sort of came along as I got older.”
Meine helped her volleyball team to a Class III state runner-up finish this season after making it to at least the semifinals her previous three seasons, including back-to-back state championships during her freshman and sophomore seasons. Additionally, the libero joined an elite club when she was named as one of six DeSoto County volleyball players who were selected to the first-ever Mississippi all-state volleyball first team, as selected by state coaches. She has accomplished all of that in spite of only playing since the seventh grade.
Meine is also one of a few Mississippi athletes who was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star games in two sports, being selected as the North MVP in both volleyball and softball.
“Mattie brings a child-like love for the game,” Hicks said of her starting shortstop. “A lot of times when you get to the upper levels, kids lose that child-like love of what they are doing, because they get so focused on trying to be perfect. She brings the ‘I’m going to the playground to play with my friends’ mentality to the field and that’s fun to see.”
The graduating senior also excels off the court. In the classroom, she has a 4.0 and has been a member of the Scholar Athlete Team for the past three years. She is an active member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Mu Alpha Theta, Ambassadors and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Meine also gives back to the community by volunteering at the local food bank, playing Bingo at a nursing home and spending time with special needs students.
“Her teammates look up to her for leadership, not just on the field but off the field, as well,” said Hicks. “Mattie carries herself around the school very well, she is respected among her peers and that transfers into everything she does, from the court to the field.”