"All for her;" Chauvin dedicates season, title to family - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

"All for her;" Chauvin dedicates season, title to special family member

Win, lose or draw, Christian Chauvin always knew who would be right behind him. Whether a touchdown, base-hit, strike out or dropped pass, the former Oak Grove football and baseball player kept a close relationship with his aunt, Lauree Mooney.

"No matter what I was going through, I could always call her," said Chauvin, "I could always get her to talk to me, and no matter what kind of mood I was in, she would make me feel better instantly.

"She's been a part of my life since I was four."

Chauvin's mother, Melba Chauvin, described her son's relationship with Lauree as having a "second-mom."

In 2009, Christian received news that would eventually change his life. Lauree had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, and in January, just as Christian was about to embark on his final season wearing an Oak Grove uniform, Lauree passed away at the age of 40.

"I was actually laying in bed, and at about six in the morning, my mom came in there and told me she wasn't doing good," Christian said of learning Lauree was in her last days, "A few days before, me and my mom went back (to the hospital). We had to tell her we were going to leave, and she would just grip our hands and tell us not to go.

"I knew she was in a lot of pain, and suffering a lot. So it hurt really bad, but at the same time it was kind of relieving, because I loved her so much and I just wanted her to be happy."

Devastated, Christian almost decided not to play his final season on the baseball diamond. "He really didn't want to play this year, because he was having a really hard time," said Melba Chauvin, "In fact, I was shocked when he came to me and told me this season was dedicated to her."

Coping with pain off the diamond, Chauvin played with a passion on the diamond. He first displayed that emotion after the warriors took down Harrison Central in the South State Championship to advance to the State Championship series.

Christian's parents stood on the other side of the netting behind home plate at Oak Grove's home field, but that didn't stop Chauvin from an emotional embrace. "He comes over, he jumps up on the ledge, and he's hugging me through the net and just crying," told Melba Chauvin. "He's like, 'Mom, we won it for Aunt Lauree! We won it for Aunt Lauree!'"

The ultimate dedication would come a week later at Smith-Wills Field in Jackson.

After taking down opponent Madison Central 4-0 in game one of the 6A state championship series, the warriors needed one more win to wear the crown. Tied at 1-1 and heading to the top of the sixth inning of game two, Chauvin stepped to the plate with two outs.

After a hard grounder, he beat out the throw to first, stole second base and scored the first run that not only gave the Warriors the lead, but began the two-out, four-run rally that sealed the game and the championship. Melba believes Christian had a little help on the base paths that night.

"I could literally just envision Lauree just holding him up, and carrying him around the bases," Melba said, "because he was playing with so much passion for her."

What followed afterward? A celebration like no other. Not only did Christian and the Warriors hoist a state championship trophy, Christian embraced his family, including Lauree's mother, letting out the emotion he carried with him all season. Cries of "It was all for her! It was all for her!" poured out.

What was tragedy became a triumph Christian won't soon forget.

"Every time I went out in center, I felt her on my shoulders," said Christian, "I even told my teammates throughout the year that I felt her with us."

"I know she was proud shining down from Heaven," said Melba Chauvin, "I just know that.

"He makes her live on."


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