Reeves inks with Tenn. Temple
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Lord may work in mysterious ways, but when Sara Beth Reeves signed her papers to play softball for Tennessee Temple University it was a match made in heaven.
Almost eight months to the day after the Crusaders’ resurrected softball program won its first game, the Chattanooga school made Reeves the third member of the 2013-14 recruiting class Monday morning.
“She’s the third girl we’ve signed in the last two weeks. She’s probably the one I’ve watched more than anybody else. I’ve been to a lot of tournaments to watch her play,” Crusaders coach Randy Crawford told The Daily Times. “She’s going to be a big help to us with her speed and strong arm, probably play right or left field for us. “She’s got great character, the Christian values we look for in athletes and very coachable, which fits in perfectly with our team.”
But it was a match that happened more as if Reeves were the girl at the other table catching the guy’s eye on a blind date rather than a http://match.com appointment.
“I was at an exposure tournament and saw her team playing. I started out watching another player but the more I watched she caught my eye more than the one I went to see,” Crawford said when discussing when he first started recruiting the now Maryville High senior.
For Reeves, who was watching her senior teammates make their own choices last season, things just kept coming back to Chattanooga.
“I went to other colleges and kind of looked but Temple was my first real offer. I loved the atmosphere there, and I felt like God really led me to Temple in the end because I had these other colleges offering me, but I kept coming back to Temple. I can’t wait to go there and play next year,” Reeves said. “ My family was excited about it, and they all think it’s the best for me because its a Baptist college too.”
With Monday’s signing, Reeves makes the fifth member of last season’s state sectional squad to ink college papers, and she isn’t likely to be the last.
“We had four girls sign last year. She’s the fifth so far from that team. We have some others that I’m expecting will sign, but schools are still courting them a little bit, and they’re still making decisions on what they’re going to do,” Maryville softball coach David Allen said. “It’s great for our players to get these kind of opportunities.”
But when a near-photo malfunction threatened to send flags, banners and jerseys into the floor Monday, there were a swarm of hands out of the crowd suddenly settings thing back to right in record time for the senior’s photo moment.
“We’re all kind of in it together,” Reeves said of the assist from her teammates past and present that dotted the crowd, including University of Georgia freshman Bry Blanco. “She came in from Georgia for break and she told me she wanted to come to the signing and I appreciated that. I looked up to her a lot.”
YOUNG PROGRAM: This is Temple’s first softball team since the mid-1980s, and while the school is currently in the NCCAA it has plans to pursue NAIA and conference membership in the near future.
“Right now we play anybody,” Crawford said. “We took some lumps last year doing that. I have no seniors, a couple of junior college transfers, but the rest are the girls we signed the last two years.”
GOING, GOING: While coach Allen loves to see his players rewarded for their success, the actual ceremonies hold a bit of dread for the Lady Rebels skipper.
“ Coach Quarles told me I had to do the introduction this morning and I almost ran,” Allen said. “I hate that part of it. Put me out on the softball field or in the classroom. I hate standing in front of a crowd like this and figuring out what to say, but it’s great to do it.”