Two BLHS softball players earn scholarships
Tara Chumley and Caylee Smith will not battle with the distraction of choosing what college to attend during their senior softball season at Basehor-Linwood High School.
Both girls have signed to play softball at different colleges next year, Chumley at Baker University and Smith at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
“I am proud of the kids going on to play softball in college and having a chance to pursue higher education,” coach Susan Mayberry said. “It is another example that if you do well in school then it will help pay for college. I am proud of them. They are signed and ready to go. With this behind them, they can go and have a good season for the high school.”
In her time coaching at the school, Mayberry has helped 37 athletes earn college scholarships for softball.
Chumley and Smith are simply the latest. The two have played different roles for the Bobcats in their careers, helping the team to winning seasons and come close to earning a berth in the Class 4A state tournament.
The BLHS pipeline to KCKCC continued this winter when Smith signed a letter of intent to play softball for the school.
Smith, who plays second base, joins Codi Schierbaum, Tiffany Jennings and Jordanne Leiker who also play at KCKCC.
“We have sent a lot of kids through there,” Mayberry said. “Kids that want to be nurses and teachers. It’s a great opportunity to stay close to home and get college helped out with. They get to play with kids they have competed with, kids at other schools in the area.”
In her career at BLHS, Smith has been a speedy, table-setting second baseman for the Bobcats. She has helped set the table for Bobcats at the plate, using her speed to get on base. Once there, she has used her speed to advance and help the Bobcats manufacture runs.
In softball, where runs can be difficult to score and pitching dominates, Smith has provided the Bobcats with a dangerous threat on the base paths.
In the field, she has also solidified the Bobcats’ interior defense with her play at second base. She has teamed with shortstop Megan Rehm to form one of the Kaw Valley League’s top interior infield tandems.
Mayberry said she expects Smith to play that position next year in college.
“I think she will be used at second base based on her strengths,” Mayberry said. “I think collegiately she will do a good job there. For us, she has utilized her speed.”
Smith plans to study nursing at KCKCC.
Chumley is the type of player who can play any position for the Bobcats.
Her versatility has impressed Mayberry.
Before last season, Mayberry switched Chumley to catcher. It was a need for the team, and Chumley accepted the switch after spending previous time playing in both the infield and outfield.
“Tara had not caught until last year, and that speaks volumes of her ability to grasp the position and learn on the fly,” Mayberry said.
Chumley’s catching experience caught the attention of Baker coaches during the recruitment process who were looking for a player that could fill a lot of positions.
“I think that (the Baker coach) is going to work her in the outfield and infield,” Mayberry said. “A background as a catcher is an asset for any collegiate team.”
Chumley plans to study psychology at Baker.