— By GREG WEBB
The local migration to Weatherford College has been robust of late, with Weatherford High School’s Courtney Cleveland being the latest student-athlete from the area to make her commitment to play for the Lady Coyotes while attending WC classes.
The choice was an easy one for the senior outfielder.
“The fact that Weatherford College is so close is one of the things I love about this opportunity,” Cleveland said. “I really don’t care to be very far away from home, and I’m really looking forward to continue working with [WC head coach Haylee] Williams.”
Coach Williams is one of the mentors Courtney has gleaned her skills from in her softball journey to the next level. She has had several since she first picked up a bat, including her father.
“I started playing softball when I was four-years old, practicing with my dad,” she said. “When I got old enough, I started playing select ball.
“Ever since then I’ve been taking hitting lessons, working with Coach (Mari) McGuire and Coach Williams. A lot of people, including my high school coaches here at Weatherford, have supported me, and helped me get to the level I am today.”
Courtney says she never considered practicing and playing softball as work because she fell in love with the game very early on.
She has designs on staying around athletics for her life’s work, and plans to steer her studies toward physical therapy, hoping to be a trainer.
Courtney is excited about the college life ahead.
“I’ve already met some of the girls on the [WC] team,” she said. “I’m just really looking forward to all of the new experiences and meeting new people.
“The WC team has already done very well with its program, and I’m looking forward to more of that.”
For the balance of her student life at WHS and her final run as a Lady Roo, Cleveland has more immediate designs.
“For the rest of my senior year I will, of course, focus on my grades and keep working hard at the game to improve my skills,” Courtney said. “For the upcoming season [for the Lady Roos], we definitely want to win district again this year and go further in the playoffs.”
Cleveland, who can round the base paths in a hurry, came off of a strong season of select ball last summer, hitting .412 as the Texas Elite Gold’s leadoff hitter.
Editor’s note: WC added another outfielder to the mix recently, signing Maddison Graham from Huntington High School.