Feb. 8—THOMASVILLE — 14 years of dedication and hard work paid off in the early morning of National Signing Day, as Brookwood softball player Rylee Hollifield signed on to play softball at Thomas University.
"She has led by example and been there and has done an incredible job," said Brookwood head softball coach Christa Boggs about Hollifield. "Rylee is just one of those athletes that you're excited to have on your team because of her attitude, her loyalty to her teammates, her dedication to the sport and her dedication to the team."
Hollifield has been extremely dedicated to softball for the last 14 years. Despite living 40 minutes away from Brookwood School, Hollifield was at every practice working to improve her skills all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. She started playing varsity softball in eighth grade where Boggs said she held her own. She slowly improved and went from an eighth grader on varsity to hitting her first homer in her junior year to having the best batting average of her career as a senior.
Now, heading to TU, Hollifield is excited that she will be so close to home so that the family and friends who have helped her so much on her path to college can see her play at the next level.
"Friends, teammates, family, all of them have been there for me. Practices, taking me to practices, cheering for me on the field," Hollifield said. "Just knowing they're around in my corner makes me feel good."
Hollifield has had a chance to get to know some of her future teammates as she prepares to play third base for the Night Hawks.
"They're very sweet, they've been really supportive, giving me a bunch of advice on the school, the team. Just really supportive," said Hollifield.
TU softball had a decent season last year, finishing .500 on the year at 23-23. They suffered back-to-back losses to end the season in the SUN Conference Championships. TU began their 2024 campaign on February 3 with back-to-back losses to Truett McConnell University and are set for a double-header against Southeastern University on Saturday.