SARASOTA — Kayla Scofield has spent the past four months relying on the one person she can count on to stay motivated — herself.
With Cardinal Mooney not having enough girls to field a softball team this spring, the senior outfielder was forced to train on her own in hopes of fulfilling her childhood dream of playing collegiate softball.
Scofield spent countless afternoons training and fielding fly balls off the end of her cousin’s bat; and April 17, Scofield’s hard work and dedication paid off when she signed a national letter of intent to play softball for Ave Maria University.
“It’s honestly a dream come true,” Scofield says. “This is something I’ve wanted since I was a little girl.”
Scofield was one of six Cardinal Mooney seniors who inked scholarships to play at the next level during the school’s signing ceremony.
Baseball players Patrick Heuler and Austin Bingham will be playing for the College of Charleston and South Florida Community College, respectively, next year.
Heuler made the decision four years ago that he wanted to play for a Division I program after watching his older brother, Ryan, sign with Wake Forest.
“I’m just looking forward to getting into the spotlight more,” Heuler says. “There will be more people watching and more fans, so it’ll be an opportunity to showcase myself.”
Bingham, who also pitches and plays in the outfield for the Cougars, chose South Florida Community College over Seminole State College of Florida.
“(SFCC) definitely wanted me, and I liked that it wanted me to be a part of the team,” Bingham says. “It means a lot. This is something I’ve always looked forward to. I’ve always wanted to finally sign with a college. This is a moment I’ve been waiting for, so it feels good to see it fulfilled.”
Lacrosse teammates Chase Ostermann and Jack Sorensen also signed letters of intent.
Ostermann will be heading to Lynn University next year, while Sorensen will play for Methodist University.
Sorensen, who plans to study sports management, also looked at Greensboro College, Lynn University and the University of Tampa, but ultimately felt Methodist University was the right fit.
“This is a dream,” Sorensen says. “I had taken a year off my freshman year. With making that decision, I thought I would not be able to play at the college level, so I’m excited about having the opportunity to be on a new developing team.”
Ostermann chose Lynn University for its campus, coaching staff and proximity to his hometown.
“I am looking forward to playing in Florida against schools that my friends are committed to,” Ostermann says.
Finally, Hanna McMahon signed a letter of intent to play sand volleyball for Jacksonville University.
“I’m really excited,” McMahon says. “I can’t wait.”
McMahon began playing sand volleyball competitively two years ago, and at 5-foot-7, she knew it was more her speed.
“I like the relaxed atmosphere,” McMahon says of sand volleyball. “With my height, it’s a game of smarts rather than a game of power.”
McMahon, who plans to major in accounting, knew Jacksonville was the place for her after attending a practice with the team.
“They always had fun and were encouraging,” McMahon says. “It’s a family-type atmosphere, and I knew that’s where I wanted to go to college.”
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
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A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.