By Tim Chambers
Perhaps no “Diamond” has ever shined brighter than Johnson County’s senior outfielder Diamond Dibble despite adversity. The road to making the high school varsity softball team for Dibble has been a difficult one, to say the least. Diamond transferred to Johnson County Middle School in the eighth grade after her father was killed in a head-on dump truck accident when she was five years old.
Her mother is currently in a nursing home in Columbia, which makes it difficult to see her due to the current pandemic outbreak. She moved in with her Aunt Jacqueline and Uncle John Mann of Doe before graduating from middle school.
“It was hard on me because I was young and had to leave all my friends and family,” said Dibble. “The girls I play softball with now were my teammates, and Greg Reece was my coach back then. They made the transition an easy as possible for me. It was definitely a change. Mountain City is so much smaller and quieter than Columbia.”
Diamond didn’t get to play in the first two games, which made the season-ending the way it did more difficult.
“I got to play in a tournament we had at Unicoi and did very good. I think I got on base six out of the eight times that I batted, so I was looking forward to getting back to practice and showing my coaches and teammates as to what I could do. All I’ve ever wanted was to contribute to the team.
She has been a big contributor as a role model teammate. Diamond has made things much better for them too. She gives massages to her teammates in the dugout, which is a profession that she is going to pursue upon graduation.
“They like for me to massage their shoulders and get them loose and ready to play,” said Dibble. “Our team is like a family. We all care about one another.”
Diamond, like her other senior teammates, knows the Lady Longhorns were stripped of what could have been a special season.
“I really believe that we were going to win the conference, District and Regional tournaments,” said Dibble. “We had the best team in middle school, and we were the better team this year with those same players and all that good young talent that we had.”
Diamond works at Food Country and said she picked up some extra hours since schools been out.
“I’m just trying to fill the void because I miss seeing my teachers, Mr.Henley, and my teammates and coaches.” “It’s been hard to let it go, but I just want to stay busy. I would play again if I could ever get in an adult league somewhere. I just want a chance to play one last time.”
Diamond said that she doesn’t regret the move to Johnson County.
“It’s beautiful up here with the mountains, streams, and all the animals you can see.” “I enjoy the peace and quiet.”
Diamond will attend massage therapy school for a year after graduation to become a massage therapist.
“I hope all my friends up here will come and see me,” she said. “This place will always be special.”
Just like her senior season had they got to finish it.