January 31, 2013 12:25:59 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- Wade Goodman believes hard work pays off.
It didn't take long for him to discover Marion Colvin was going to fit right in with that mentality at Pickens Academy.
"She jumped in full fledged from the first practice," Goodman said. "She has been a joy."
Now in his third season coaching Colvin on the school's girls basketball and softball teams, Goodman takes pride in the fact he was able to play a part in helping Colvin realize a dream Wednesday in signing a scholarship to play softball at Shelton State Community College.
"She knows the game. She really does," Goodman said. "She is definitely not afraid of hard work. It has been easy with Marion. She is a workhorse in basketball, and she is a workaholic in softball. She is always doing something."
Colvin, who transferred from Central Academy in Macon to Pickens Academy, said she received scholarship offers from junior colleges in the state of Mississippi. But she said she sent an application to Shelton State, received a phone call from members of the softball team's coaching staff, and visited the school. She said she liked everything about her visit, which made it easy to commit to two years in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"I am going to be willing to play anywhere just to get out there," said Colvin, who pitches and plays shortstop and in the outfield. "I am really nervous, but I feel like I really fit in at Shelton. I know some other girls who are signing, and a lot of people from Pickens go to Shelton, so I will know some people. It is not too far from home, but it is not right up the road."
Colvin said she has applied lessons learned from former teammates who went on to play softball in college. She said credits Goodman for helping to prepare her for the next level. She played for the Mississippi Blast last summer and will play with them this year, too, to get ready for her first year in college.
Shelton State C.C. coach Buddy Boyle said he first learned about Colvin from Goodman and by watching her play travel ball. He said he was impressed that Colvin was a good teammate and that she understood the team concept. He expects her to have a chance to compete for innings in the circle.
"She has good velocity moves the ball around well with good spin, and throws strikes," Boyle said. "She can use several different looks to keep batters off balance, and in college that's an asset because of the adjustments college hitters make."
Boyle also likes Colvin's versatility and feels she could earn playing time as a middle infielder or get some at-bats from the left side.
"Everyone at our level is the best from their area, so our players see that they have to elevate their game," Boyle said. "We feel Marion will adjust nicely."
Shelton State C.C. went 42-13 last season and finished second in the NJCAA Region XXII tournament. All three pitchers from the 2012 team moved on to Division I or II rosters (Samford University, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and Stillman College). The team also was ranked No. 4 in the nation in grade-point average.
Goodman feels Colvin's choice is an ideal fit. He credits George Colvin for working with Marion and helping her learn the finer points. He said Colvin will be able to do anything Boyle wants her to do at Shelton State.
"She can play anywhere. She played first base one year when her arm got hurt one summer," Goodman said. "Whatever she got growing up, I think Mr. George had a lot to do with it. ... She had good coaching and good raising coming up. Normally when they transfer in they are what they are. Thank goodness what she was was what I needed."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.