SOUTH PLAINFIELD -- Caity Hughes had one of the best athletic careers you can have at the high school level. The recent South Plainfield High School graduate had one heck of a senior year as well. Hughes, a multi-sport star, broke three records: all-time scoring record in field hockey in the fall, most steals for a career in basketball in the winter, and shattered the all-time hits record in softball in the spring.
Her efforts gave her the rank of No. 72 in the top 100 New Jersey high school athletes list for the 2016-17 school year by NJ.com.
“The senior is a three-sport athlete for the South Plainfield playing field hockey in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring,” they wrote. “Hughes was the leadoff hitter for her softball squad this season and finished with 53 hits, 43 runs scored, 25 runs batted in and a .505 batting average. Those totals allowed Hughes to set the school record with 172 career hits. The senior also came through with 34 goals and 13 assists in field hockey and has 13 points and five steals a game in basketball.
“What's even more remarkable about Hughes though is that she also earned a varsity letter in soccer as a freshman before switching over to field hockey.”
Just weeks after donning a dress and her green cap and gown as she walked across the stage and received her diploma, TAPinto South Plainfield was able to catch up with Hughes as she enjoys the summer before heading off to Georgian Court University on a softball scholarship.
Take a look at the Q&A below.
TAPinto South Plainfield: It's been a couple weeks since graduation, has it hit you yet that you won't be walking the halls of South Plainfield HS again as a student?
Caity Hughes: It has hit me ! I can't believe I won't be going back to South Plainfield next year, it's a weird feeling and I'm gonna miss it a lot.
TSP: Along those lines, how was Project Graduation and prom?
Hughes: Prom was amazing and I had so much fun! Project grad was also really fun. There was so much to do and so many sports to play I had an awesome time.
TSP: After the GMC softball all-star game you said you're going to miss high school and HS sports so much, what are a couple things that stand out to you that you will miss the most?
Hughes: Getting to see the people I've grown close with over so many years at South Plainfield will definitely be something I'll miss a lot. And being apart of high school athletics also. It was such an awesome atmosphere whenever I played and I had so many people supporting me and that school spirit from every student is also something I'm really going to miss.
TSP: I know you played field hockey in the fall, basketball in the winter, and softball in the spring, how did you not get tired and how would you describe your senior year as a whole on and off the field?
Hughes: It's obviously difficult going from each sport knowing I didn't really have a true break between them, but you get used to. I never had to worry about not being busy though. It does get tiring but it's worth it in the end. Athletics made my senior year better than I ever thought it was going to be. Each sport was more fun than it had been the past years but it did go by so quick.
TSP: Speaking of softball, after losing in the Greater Middlesex County Tournament final, you guys came back to win N2G3 and the overall Group 3 title, what was it like playing in the first ever Tournament of Champions for softball and how was the team able to bounce back so quickly?
Hughes: Losing in the GMC finals was obviously hard especially because I knew that most of us wanted it so bad. But being able to bounce back from that and go on to win a group title just shows how awesome our team really was this year. We were able to overcome the losses and use that to push us to win. Playing for the first ever Tournament of champions was such a cool experience and to be able to say you've made it that far is truly an honor.
TSP: Any plans for the summer?
Hughes: Nothing too special, just going to be playing more softball and getting ready to play at (Georgian Court University)!
TSP: You signed to play softball down in south Jersey at Georgian Court University, when do you head down there, how excited are you, and what made you choose to go there?
Hughes: I am super excited to start at Georgian court this fall. I'm so ready to see what college will be like and to play softball at such a high level. The coach for GCU saw me play in Colorado (at her travel softball games) and after I met her and talked with her we really clicked! I like the way she thinks and you can tell she is really passionate about the sport. And also after visiting the campus I thought it was so pretty and loved the fact that it was a small, close school.
TSP: I know it's a long ways away, but they went 14-30 last year, in your mind, what kind of impact do you hope to make as a freshman to try and turn it around some?
Hughes: I am hoping I come into the program and make a big impact to the team. I know that it'll be hard to make such a statement as a freshman but I hope I'll be able to that. I'm just going to work to my best and hopefully the outcome will pay off.
TSP: Any ideas what you want to major in and why?
Hughes: I'm going to be majoring in business administration and minoring in sports management. I've always found the different aspects of business interesting and I would love to go into a career involving sports as well.
TSP: You were voted by NJ.com as a Top 100 high school athlete for this past school year, what does that mean to you?
Hughes: I was so surprised when I saw the top 100 list and saw that I was there. There are so many amazing athletes in NJ and I'm honored to be one of them. It's a special honor and I've gotten such awesome support from so many people!
TSP: Lastly, you've had a lot of success and what not, did a lot, you said you wanted to leave your name in high regard at SPHS, what do you want to be remembered most for?
Hughes: I want to be remembered for the athlete I was. Not a lot of people go through high school playing three sports anymore. I want to inspire people and make them try to do the same. It's a difficult thing to do but I think it's worth it. I know it's a big thing to say but I would love for someone to see my name and think of me as one of the greatest athletes that's gone through SPHS. I've had so many people support me through my whole high school career and I don't think i would have been as successful without that support. From all the students who came out to every game, and all the coaches who have helped me greatly, and my family who i could never thank enough for their support. I definitely hope I left my mark!