Long recently accomplished an even rarer feat and caused a Tiger to change her stripes when Nettleton's Holly Schlicht agreed to trade in her cardinal red and navy blue Tiger stripes for Northeast's black and gold stripes in a ceremony at the Nettleton High School library on Tuesday.
"Holly (Schlicht) is one of the best athletes to come out of Monroe County in a long time," Long said. "She has been a permanent fixture for (Nettleton) up the middle and has taken care of herself academically as well by being salutatorian and having a high ACT score."
Schlicht, a five-time state champion at Nettleton, becomes the fourteenth player signed by Long during the 2010-11 recruiting period and becomes the second Monroe County athlete to ink with the Lady Tigers.
"It means that all the hard work in high school is paying off," Schlicht said. "It is a reward not only for yourself but for your family, coaches and teammates."
Earlier in the year, Hamilton's Katie Beth Dahlem joined former Hamilton standout Kelle West in the Tiger softball program.
While not as far from home as signees Jasmin Smith (Anchorage, Alaska) and Jaisa Fox (Fairfield, Ohio), Schlicht said that the location of Northeast was ideal for her choice.
"It is just far enough away from home," Schlicht said, "but close enough to home that I can come home again whenever I want."
Schlicht can credit a pair of Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 3A Fast-Pitch Softball State Championship to her resume along with a Class 3A slow-pitch title in 2009.
Schlicht was also an instrumental member of the Nettleton Lady Tiger powerlifting back-to-back state champions in 2009 and 2010.
During her tenure at Nettleton, Schlicht started at shortstop for the fast-pitch team since the eighth grade and a three-year member of the .300 batting club in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
"It gives kids something to shoot for -- with the ability to play at the next level," said Nettleton fast-pitch coach Chris Kidd. "I know she is going to a place that is very passionate about what they do -- Northeast -- and she's been looking forward to it. She is 100-percent behind it and is ready to get started."
Schlicht's senior year saw the Nettleton salutatorian set the standard as Schlicht was decorated as a state champion in both fast-pitch softball and powerlifting while joining the .300 batting club, had the most stolen bases on the Nettleton team, named as an All-Area On Deck team member, a member of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal All-Area team, was chosen to play in the Mississippi Coaches Association slow-pitch softball All-Star game, and was the best lifter on the Nettleton powerlifting team that saw the Lady Tigers capture the division, north half and Class 3A state crowns.
Schlict was also a member of the Nettleton High School varsity cheerleading squad for four years, served as team captain in 2009, and named a Universal Cheerleading Academy (UCA) All-American cheerleader in 2009.
When not on the diamond or under the bar for weightlifting, Schlicht was a member of various clubs and organizations at Nettleton that included the National Beta Club, the Quill and Scroll National Honor Society, Future Problem Solving International Club.
Schlicht was also named the Nettleton High School Student Council president and senior class president and was even the president of the National Beta Club and the Quill and Scroll National Honor Society her senior year.
Schlicht's exploits reached further than the classroom when the Nettleton graduate served as Most Athletic for the school, was editor of the literary magazine and was a member of the Nettleton High School newspaper and literary magazine staff.