By GREG WEBB
BROCK — The senior athletes at Brock high school turned a hat trick on Wednesday, celebrating the third of its student-athletes extending respective careers at the college level in as many weeks. Again, friends, teammates, classmates, coaches, faculty and other well-wishers populated Brock’s Media Center to give kudos to yet another athlete headed to the next level.
Shambry Sanders was the target of attention on this day. The Brock senior celebrated her intent to attend and play softball at Western Texas College, located in Snyder.
Sanders’ recruiting process got off to a ‘late’ start, considering college coaches take note of prep talent as early as freshman and sophomore years. Sanders time to shine during select ball after her freshman and sophomore years was inhibited, and even into junior year.
“I didn’t get to play much during my junior summer either, because I had surgeries,” Sanders said. “I decided not to play basketball this fall because I wanted to play softball in college and they recruit very heavily during the fall.”
As chance meetings go, Shambry had a really good one, striking up a brief conversation during a game when she was asked to catch a pitcher who needed warming up. The senior’s natural tendency toward being friendly, and her talent of course, steered the course of events.
“I didn’t even know who Coach Rome [McNary] was when we were talking after I had warmed up the pitcher,” Shambry said, “I was just being friendly.
“Shortly after I went back to the dugout, someone asked the coach to put me in the field.”
Apparently McNary, the WTC head softball coach liked what he saw, as subsequent conversation led to a visit invite. In turn, Sanders liked what she saw, as well.
“I loved WTC,” she said of the Snyder-based campus. “I loved [McNary] as a coach, as well.
“He coaches the way I like to play, so it was just a perfect fit.”
Professing to being a small-town ‘country’ girl, Shambry said the atmosphere and size of Snyder appealed to her senses.
The decision to forego basketball was a major one for Sanders, as she began playing basketball in the fourth grade and this year marked the first she had missed. But with softball as her first love (since six-years old), the path was a clear one, and one she has never needed much urging to play, and improve.
“Softball has always been a big part of my life,” Sanders said. “I’ve always asked my dad if we can go play catch or go to the field and hit, just anything.
“No one has ever had to push me to practice. I’ve always pushed myself.”
Willing to contribute in any facet of the game, as her mind set has been in that mode where ever she has taken the field, Sanders has an inkling of her role with the Lady Westerners.
“WTC will probably put me in the outfield most of the time,” she said, “and I may get some time at shortstop, as well.”
The speedy senior also said she hopes to bat lead-off or somewhere near to top of the order.
Besides finishing up on her studies at Brock, Sanders will spend the next few months trying to get the Lady Eagles as far as she can toward a district championship and wherever postseason takes them.
She has already decided her profession, and WTC will serve as a first-step toward the goal, which is in the medical field.
“I plan to take care of my basic requisites in my studies at Western,” Shambry said. “I will then continue my education to eventually be a sonography technician.”