PELL CITY-- Madeline Houck signed scholarship papers to play softball at Northwest Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi on December 1.
“I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity,” Houck said.
Houck received interest from other schools, but she felt that Northwest Community College had more to offer.
“I like the campus and the coach,” Houck said. “They have a football team and it’s a great atmosphere there.”
First impressions are usually the most important and that was the case for Houck. The senior received an offer after having a strong outing with her travel ball team out of Birmingham.
“There was an immediate connection that the coach and I had when she came to watch me play,” Houck said. “The first time that she came to watch me play, she offered me (a scholarship).”
Pell City head coach Brittany Gillison said Houck is very deserving of this accomplishment. The first-year head coach is anxious to see how the hard work that she put in the offseason pays off.
“Moose is a fun kid to be around,” Gillison said. “She plays hard, she’s quick and she’s strong. Moose decided to go out for track this year just to see what she could do. I’m anxious to see all the work that she has put in and that extra conditioning will pay off. Her nickname is Moose because she is so strong. I want to see how that extra leg strength pays off this season.”
Even though Northwest Community College has everything that Houck was looking for in a school, she still feels uneasy about being away from her family.
“I’m nervous because it’s far from home,” she said.
Houck will not be in Mississippi alone. Evi Edwards will join Houck in the Magnolia State next year. Edwards will be an hour away from Houck at Blue Mountain College.
“Blue Mountain is in Mississippi, so we are both going to Mississippi,” Edwards said. “It’s about an hour between us. We have grown up playing together and it kind of gave us some rest that we would be that close to each other. We will be able to talk to each other and see each other since we don't know anyone.”
Houck said not worrying about her recruitment will allow her to play freely on the diamond this season for the Panthers.
Houck is one of five Pell City players that signed a scholarship before the season. Houck said she feels, with the talent that they have all over the field, they have a chance to make a postseason run.
“We want to go to state again,” she said. “It’s going to take a lot of teamwork. We are really going to have to work together as a team.”
Houck is appreciative of everyone that played a dream of playing college softball into a reality.
“I thank my parents, all of my coaches, my teammates, and the coach at Northwest Community College,” Houck said.