Sarah Brooks signs with Alice Lloyd

Published 2:34 pm Monday, April 29, 2019

Bell County senior Sarah Brooks has signed to play softball for Alice Lloyd college. She signed her letter of intent on Monday morning in the Bell County High School auditorium surrounded by coaches, family and friends.

To Brooks, signing to Alice Lloyd is the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It means everything to me,” said Brooks. “This is a dream come true. I’ve had so many minor setbacks in my life. I feel like I’ve proven to people that I could do what I said I could do. I’m a good player and I wasn’t kidding. People have always said that I was too big for softball, but I showed them that none of that matters. It’s the size of your heart that matters.”

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Planning on majoring in education, Brooks felt like home right away at Alice Lloyd. “They have a wonderful education program at Alice Lloyd. I have always focused on my academics before my athletics. I was always taught that it was grades before sports.”

Brooks recalls defeating Harlan County earlier in the season as her fondest high school softball memory.

“This is the first time we have beaten Harlan County in five or six years,” said Brooks. “I moved to Bell County from Middlesboro, and Bell County had never really had a good softball team until J.W. (Campbell) came in to help us. When we defeated Harlan County, it proved that people were sleeping on us and that they could no longer do that.”

Before Brooks heads off to college, she has her sights set on winning the district championship. “I think we can make it,” said Brooks. “I think we can definitely win the district if we show up to play. This team right here is going to be good. Alex (Barnett) is a great coach and Danielle (Petra) is a great coach. I just think we can do some really great things this season, including winning the district.”

Brooks’ mother, Rebecca, sees the signing as a great accomplishment for her daughter.

“Honest to goodness, we give all the glory to God. We integrate him into every aspect of our lives and through him, all things are possible,” said Rebecca. “It’s like I’ve always told Sarah, ‘the world is at your fingertips.’ ‘It’s there for the taking as long as you work hard.’ She has worked incredibly hard, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Brooks’ father, Scott, has been working with his daughter from a very young age in order to prepare her for softball at the next level.

“She expressed at a young age that she wanted to play at the next level,” said Mr. Brooks. “I told her that if she wanted to play at that level, it was going to take hard work. That’s what we did, we worked hard every day. I pushed her very hard, but she pushed herself just as hard.

“Where most fathers would take it easier on their daughters, I didn’t. I told her early on ‘this is what’s going to make you better’ and she understood that and welcomed the challenge. We were continuously in the batting cages; as often as we could get in there. She started coming to me and asking me to get extra work in. That’s when I knew she was serious about playing at the next level. I’m very proud of her.”

Alice Lloyd head softball coach Nathan Hall believes he is getting a player in Brooks that can help them score runs.

“I know I’m getting a really good hitter,” said Hall. “She has led her team this year and in years past with her batting ability, and that’s really what we are looking for. We’re looking for a player that we can just keep adding runs continuously throughout the year, and Sarah fits that profile. I think she is going to be a great addition to the team next year.”