In keeping with what has become something of a family tradition, LaFayette senior Sam Adkins signed her letter of intent to play softball at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. this past Monday.
Adkins' older sister, Sydney, is now playing with the Phoenix after graduating from LaFayette last year. The two sisters are also following in the footsteps of their father, Kevin, another LHS alum, who attended and played football at Cumberland.
"This is an important day and I'm really excited," Sam said. "I get to go where my dad went and where my sister is (now). Whenever I walked onto the campus, I just felt comfortable. When I went on a visit, I met a bunch of students there and a lot of the faculty. They were all really nice and just made it feel homey for me."
A fixture at third base for the last three seasons, Adkins helped the Lady Ramblers reach the Class AAAA Elite Eight in Columbus in each of the past two seasons. A Dream Team honorable mention selection as a sophomore, she was a second team Dream Team pick and earned Region 6-AAAA honorable mention honors as a junior.
This past fall, she enjoyed the best statistical season of her high school career with a .370 batting average to go with six doubles, two homers and 22 RBIs. She was named to the All-Region first team and the Walker County Dream Team first team.
"Sam is very knowledgeable about the game," LaFayette head coach Meagan Base said. "She's the type of athlete that's very dependable and works hard every day. She's a vocal leader, but she also leads by example. She started every game at third base these past three years and she's been an example of how hard work and (having) a good attitude pays off."
"She's going to be willing to do whatever it takes to help a team win," LaFayette assistant coach Chris Base added. "She's been one of the hardest-working kids that we've been able to get to know over the last few years here, both on the field and in the classroom. She strives to be a leader and she strives to be successful in whatever she does, so I think Cumberland's getting a really good player and a really good person."
Adkins' future head coach, Heather Stanfill, said she loves the energy that she believes Adkins will bring to the club.
"We love that about her," Stanfill said. "She already knows everybody on our team with her sister playing, so she has a good vibe and chemistry with them already, which is important, and she has a good personality that fits in really well with our team."
"Most of our incoming freshmen come in and start playing on the JV team and try to work their way up," the coach added. "(Sam) is a player that can do a lot of different things. She's athletic and can move around, so we're excited about that and that will be good for her in order to have a chance to come in and get some playing time right away."
Adkins added that she looked forward to putting on a Cumberland uniform and playing for Stanfill.
"Coach Stanfill just lights up my day," she added. "Her attitude toward the players is awesome and her attitude toward their parents is awesome. I can't wait to be there for my next four years."
Adkins added that wants to study physical education and perhaps one day become a coach.