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A couple of ballplayers
Rhealee and Westen.jpg
Weston Wilson and Rhealee Johnson have been dating throughout their time at WCHS.

Here’s a little ditty ‘bout Westen and Rhealeee. Two American kids growing up in the heartland. Westen grew up in Centertown. Rhealee grew up in Dibrell. Rhealee is a softball star, and Westen leads off for the Pioneers baseball team.

Apparently, Rhealee led off their four-year high school relationship with a crush she had on Westen as an eight-grade shooting guard for Centertown’s basketball team. Westen didn’t notice her until they had classes together in ninth grade. Curiosity over a friend’s birthday led them to start communicating on Snapchat. The rest is history. They have been together for all four years of high school and not broken up once.

One might think being baseball and softball players would be a natural factor in bringing them together and helping them stay together. Perhaps, but Westen says, “It was more her personality. If she didn’t play softball that wouldn’t change anything.” 

Rhealee has a slightly different perspective that she shared, “Baseball and softball meant that we had more in common.”

Having classes together and homeroom together in the ninth grade was the real bridge that helped them become friends and attach to one another. Westen says, “She stuck out.” 

Rhealee thought Westen was cute in the eighth grade, and she said she tried to look on his papers after class because “he is really smart.”

It would be accurate to say sports makes them more excited to go to school. Rhealee has two favorite classes this year, gym class and a Clinical Internship with Erin Blalock. Westen’s favorite class is psychology. Westen said, “I enjoyed it last year and I am taking a different class this year with Mrs. Lippe. It is an interesting subject, and more interesting than math and history. I have taken a bunch of college courses. I have all the necessary classes for first year, and the only ones I have not taken are the engineering classes I cannot take here. I want to be a civil engineer. Westen is going to Tennessee Tech this fall.

One of the benefits softball has created for Rhealee is a scholarship to University of the Cumberlands. She only has to pay for room and board this fall. When asked about the distance between Cumberlands and Tech, Rhealee said it was about two hours. Westen has no apprehension about being at different colleges. He said, “I am not worried. I am pretty chill. Pretty laid back. I just take things as they go…if something happens, I will take care of it.”

Rhealee said softball has been positive for her. She said, “I look forward to my games more than I do school. Softball has made me a better person. When the going gets tough, you just keep going. From all the practices, it made me a better hitter.” Westen shared what he likes about baseball, “Baseball is positive, and it makes everything more fun. I have played baseball with everyone since I started, and I get to see them every day.”

They are competitive athletes in their respective sports, but not with each other. Rhealee has 6 home runs this season. Westen said he has a “big goose egg for home runs, but that he has hit the fence a few times.” They share their stats and game results with each other, but do not critique each other’s individual performance. Rhealee does have one piece of advice for Westen, “I do tell him to swing at the first pitch sometimes. I believe that is usually the best pitch I am going to see.” Westen agreed that he usually sees strikes on the first pitch.

Rhealee said, “I usually see a fast ball on the first pitch. If I get behind, I start seeing a lot of their junk. I do not want to get behind in the count.” Both Westen and Rhealee said they never have regretted having to go to practice and games. They make sacrifices in their free time to be together. Rhealee will give up sleep that she values to accompany Westen on some of his hunting expeditions on family land in Iriving College.

Rhealee and Westen are two high school seniors who excel on the field, and together they have found a way to hit that first pitch in their relationship and not see any junk. Not one break up in four years. Responsible and dedicated to each other -- just as they are to their families, academics and sports. They have lived through a pandemic together. They are best friends.

Whatever the future holds, Rhealee and Westen’s individual histories and time together indicate that they will excel. They are two kids growing up in the heartland of Warren County who are doing the best they can. And their best is more than good enough.