Haylie McCleney

Former Mortimer Jordan softball star Haylie McCleney has been named to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team, which will compete in Tokyo, Japan next summer. 

A pair of former Mortimer Jordan student-athletes achieved career milestones over the weekend.

Softball player Haylie McCleney, a 2012 Mortimer Jordan graduate and a University of Alabama record-holder, was named to the 2020 Team USA Olympic Softball roster on Sunday. 

McCleney, a center fielder, is one of 18 women, including three replacement players, selected to head coach Ken Eriksen’s roster. The U.S. Olympic Softball Team will compete next July in the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“It’s one of the most surreal moments of my life,” said McCleney during an interview with TIDE100.9. “To see my name on the roster was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. I wouldn’t be in this position without everyone that supported me along the way. I’m just so grateful.”

During her five years of varsity play with the Blue Devils, three state championship banners were hung. McCleney earned the title of Miss Softball, which goes to the best high school player in the state, as voted by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, as a senior in 2012.

See the complete U.S. Olympic Team roster here. 

Also on Sunday, former Mortimer Jordan and Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges made his NFL debut. A 2014 MJHS graduate, Hodges replaced injured Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph during the third quarter of a 26-23 home loss to Baltimore.

The 6-foot-1 rookie went 7 of 9 through the air for 68 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions as the Ravens scored a win in overtime. 

He signed with the club as an underrated free agent and was later waived in August but eventually signed to the practice squad. The 23-year-old righty was promoted to the 53-man roster after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2.

Hodges, also known as “Duck” in reference to his championship status as a caller, won the Walter Payton Award—the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy—last season at Samford. He finished his college career with 14,584 passing yards to break a record set by Steve McNair.

Pittsburgh visits the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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