Going home

Sydney Conville signed  an academic scholarship and committed to play softball at Huntingdon College on Tuesday morning.

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SYLACAUGA -- Sydney Conville signed an academic scholarship and committed to play softball at Huntingdon College in Montgomery on Tuesday morning in the media center at Sylacauga High School. Conville is continuing the family tradition by going to Huntingdon. Her dad, D.J. Conville, attended Huntingdon and is currently the head baseball coach. Her brother, Cade Conville, also played baseball for the Hawks.

“It is home and it has always felt like home,” Conville said. “I have been there a million times since my dad works there. It has always felt right, and I am super excited to be there. I can’t wait to play softball and be home.”

Conville said Huntingdon coach Casey Chrietzberg played a major role in her decision to go to Huntingdon. She also had an offer from Millsaps College.

“She (Casey Chrietzberg) is a great coach and she is very enthusiastic,” Conville said. “She is a hard worker and I can’t wait to play for her. I was just drawn to the program. I wouldn’t have gone there if the softball program wasn’t what it is like. I looked at other schools but Huntingdon is home.”

Sylacauga head coach Jay Brooks said he’s not surprised Conville will be playing on the next level.

“She had some other choices, but her heart led her to Huntingdon,” he said. “I can’t wait to see her at that level. Sydney is a ball player.”

Brooks said he grew up playing baseball with Sydney’s dad, D.J., so he’s not surprised that she knows the game as well as she does.

“They (Huntingdon) can expect a kid that knows how to manage the game,” he said. “They got a kid that knows how to get outs behind the plate. They have a kid that has the tools, the skills and the knowledge to shut a running game down. She is a fighter, she is a competitor, and she is a gamer. The bigger the game, the bigger she plays.”

Brooks said he can’t wait to see Conville on the field where everybody playing is as talented as she is.

“I can’t wait to see how that pushes her,” he said. “That’s her deal, man, she pushes, and that’s why she keeps excelling at each of the levels she has been at. She has been starting since she was in the ninth grade.”

Conville credits her dad for helping her get prepared for the opportunity to play college ball.

“He knows the game and he knows the game so well, “she said. “Since I was little, he has gotten me prepared to play in college. He told me what college coaches like since he is one himself. He just instilled in me hard work, the right mindset and attitude that a ball player has. If you love it, you have to put the work in, and he has taught me that since I was 5 or 6 years old. This has always been the end goal.”

Sylacauga has lofty goals this season on the diamond. The Lady Aggies would like to bring the second blue map to Marble City this year. The boys’ basketball team won the Class 5A state championship on Saturday.

“We want a ring and we are getting there,” Conville said. “We have meshed together so well and we always have. This senior class and the junior class have grown up playing together. We just have so much fun out there. We focus on having fun, and play best when we are loose. When we go out there and do our thing, we can beat any and everybody.”

Conville said she is grateful for everyone who helped her along the way.

“I would like to thank Coach Brooks,” she said. “Me and him have a lot in common. He has taught me so much, and he is probably one of the best coaches that I have ever had. He is a great guy. I would like to thank my dad, because he taught me everything I know. He is a great man and I am very lucky to have him in my life. I would like to thank my grandparents, because they have never missed a game. They will travel any and everywhere to see me.  They have spent so much time and money. I am just so thankful for them. And I would like to thank my teammates.”