Award: Softball, Big School Classification
Location/Affiliation: Fossil Ridge High School
- 5A Softball State Champion
- Improbable Comeback from Spinal Surgery
Nikki McGaffin is a junior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. In 2020, the SaberCats won the 5A Softball State Championship. It was Nikki’s seventh-inning strikeout against Cherokee Trail High School that capped the 5-1 championship victory. This was the school’s first state title in softball after years of coming close. Before Nikki helped them clinch it, the SaberCats had reached the final four in seven of the last eight seasons, and were state runners-up three times.
Amazingly, just 10 months prior to the state championship victory, Nikki was recovering from an improbable spinal surgery. With an injury like that, it could have been very easy to give up, but not Nikki. Her injury didn’t stop her from being a huge part of the SaberCats breakthrough state tournament. Throughout the season, she was known to do her signature move of curling her arm and tapping her shoulder. She translated this to “We came back this year with a chip on our shoulder.” Nikki McGaffin and Fossil Ridge certainly did that!