Walker Valley’s Laurel Allen has signed a softball scholarship with Lee University and coach Emily Russell.
The Lady Mustangs’ center fielder was batting .353 heading into Thursday’s 1-0 District 5-AAA win over Bradley Central, and she leads the team with five home runs, 24 RBIs, 28 runs scored and nine stolen bases.
“This has been her best season,” Walker Valley coach Lauren Limburg said. “She’s improved so much. She has tremendous speed and range in the outfield and a strong, accurate arm. She can hit for power or beat you with her speed to first base. I think she’ll make an immediate impact at Lee.”
Allen averaged around seven points per game for the basketball Lady Mustangs, who were state-ranked all season.
“I thought I would play college basketball somewhere, but Lee really opened their doors for me in softball and I’m just going to go with it,” Allen said. “The hometown thing is nice, and I know it’s a great school for preparing me. I want to be a teacher. The softball program is really good, too.”
Meanwhile, Heritage junior Brandy Goldsmith already has accepted an offer to play for Lee, according to Generals coach Steve Chattin.
Goldsmith, a shortstop, has started every game for the three-year-old program, helping lead Heritage to a 72-32 record that includes appearances in the past two Georgia Class AAA state playoffs. A two-time All-North Georgia player, she has a career batting average of .372, including a school-record mark of .472 this past season.
“Brandy is a Division I talent who is happy with wanting to continue her softball career close to home,” Chattin said. “She has received numerous inquiries from schools across the country, and she found a fit at Lee. I am convinced this early decision will allow her to relax and have an outstanding senior season.”
Reid to Young Harris
Dade County basketball center Andrew Reid parlayed a strong senior season into a scholarship at Young Harris College. The 6-foot-9 Reid signed official papers Thursday to play for the Mountain Lions, who revived their program last year after a 41-year absence under former Navy head coach and University of Georgia associate coach Pete Hermann.
“Andrew got a really nice deal from them and they’re getting a player whose best basketball is ahead of him,” Dade coach Glen Hicks said. “Andrew was a 6-1 freshman who grew eight inches in two years, so it took some time for his physical coordination to catch up, and it did this year.”
Sawyer to Maryville
Signal Mountain’s Will Sawyer will continue his football career at NCAA Division III Maryville College, according to Eagles coach Bill Price.
Sawyer, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman, primarily played defensive tackle in the Eagles’ undefeated run to the Class 2A state championship. He had previously played in the offensive line.
Silverdale Baptist softball players will be wearing pink sweatbands for games the rest of the season out of respect for breast-cancer victim Becky Hansard, the only headmaster the K-12 school that opened in 2000 has had. She underwent surgery Tuesday to have the cancer removed and is recuperating at home.
Everyone at the school Tuesday was requested to wear a pink or white shirt as a tribute. Afterward, when the Lady Seahawks played Grace Academy, the players wore the commemorative wristbands — all on their left forearms — for the first time.
Hansard received word Thursday that the cancer had not spread into her lymph nodes. She now will undergo six weeks of radiation treatment and five years of hormone therapy. Her goal is to be back at work before high school graduation May 15.
“Cancer is such a scary word,” Hansard said. “I feel like everything is going to be fine. You have one chance to do it right. That’s what I’m trying to do.”