On the wings of a Jayhawk: RHS senior signs with Kansas U
Family and friends gathered on Sunday, Dec. 16 to offer congratulations and well wishes to Rusk Lady Eagle Tatum Goff as she signed her acceptance to to University of Kansas, where she will play softball for the KU Jayhawks.
A Rusk Lady Eagle signed her dreams into reality Sunday, Dec. 16, when she inked a deal to play for the Kansas University JayHawks.
Tatum Goff, along with almost 100 of her friends, family, former coaches and others, signed an official letter of intent to play softball at K.U. and received a full scholarship to the university.
Goff has been playing softball since she was 3 years old, when she started in pre T-ball. She started pitching at age 8 and is no slouch as a batter, either.
"It's unique that I pitch and can hit, too," Goff said. "You don't find that very often. I always work my hardest at both, because I want to be out on the field, both on offense and defense."
Goff is no stranger to playing well, either. Her very first tournament netted her team runner-up at the State tournament. At age 10 she started playing travel ball with teammates two years her senior, to push herself to do better, she said.
It was in the eighth grade that Goff joined the Sneaky Cleats 18u Gold Team. At 14 years old, she was pitching against 17- and 18-year olds and was already catching the attention of Division I schools.
"I'm so proud of her -- she's a good player, a good kid," Sneaky Cleats Coach Earl Vestal said at her signing party. "I wish her all the best in all her endeavors both on and off the field."
Goff admits, even after visiting numerous other campuses, Kansas University was always her number one choice, and even verbally committed to the school during her freshman year at Rusk High School. She made that decision official Sunday.
"There's just so much pressure off now," Goff said, as tears threatened to fall. "I'm so excited and I can't wait to get there and play. It's so emotional.
“I'm so grateful for the chance to play, to have my education paid for -- not a lot of people from small towns like I'm from get the opportunity I'm getting. It's just wonderful."
Of the five seniors the university signed this year, Goff was the first. The RHS senior will play through this year's season before ending her high school career.
"We're just bursting with pride," Goff's mom Shauna Goff said. "Her dedication and hard work are turning her dreams into reality and we're so excited for her to start the next chapter of her life.
"We are so blessed and honored, too -- not many girls get sports scholarships, let alone one like this. We couldn't be more proud or more grateful."
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