SPORTS >>Catcher signs with Williams
By JASON KING
Leader sports writer
The signing of Beebe senior Sara Flenor to Williams Baptist College’s softball team on Wednesday afternoon turned into a community event, with the majority of the BHS student body, as well as the members of the Beebe Blast youth softball team on hand at the Badger Sports Arena to witness the All-State catcher sign her letter of intent to play softball for the Lady Eagles beginning in the spring of 2008.
Athletic director Jerry Jordan started things off with a short address to the audience about Flenor’s accomplishments as a Lady Badger, followed by assistant softball coach Billy Tucker. Tucker told the crowd that Sara was a prime example of one of his favorites quotes, “Success always looks easy to those who were never there when it was being earned,” referring to the summer days that she and her teammates practiced for over three hours in sweltering temperatures.
Teammates Laura Tucker and Bailey Thomas also spoke prior to the signing. Tucker called Sara “A wonderful person, a good Christian and a talented athlete.”
Flenor, a four-year starting catcher for the Lady Badgers, has earned All-Conference honors since her freshman year, with All-State nods her sophomore and junior years. She was named outstanding defensive player her freshman and sophomore years, and named to the All-Arkansas team her junior year.
Her batting average last year was .445, and doesn’t even include her accomplishments on the Beebe Blast summer team.
Flenor has been part of six state championship teams with the Blast in ASA and USSSA. In 2004, Flenor was part of the USSSA World Championship team and was named to the All-World team.
For head softball coach Terry Flenor, Wednesday was anything but a routine signing.
“I’m wearing my dad hat today,” Flenor said. “It’s our third signing since I’ve been coaching here. It’s always exciting to see a student get to continue their education, but as a parent, this is my first time to do this. She had the opportunity to go to several different schools, but when she went to Williams, she loved everything about it.”
First year Lady Eagles coach Eric Newell was on hand for the signing as well. Newell came to WBC from Fredericktown High School in Fredericktown, Missouri, where he led his team to a district championship in 2006 with a 15-8 record.
Newell says the acquisition of Flenor was a huge step in his future plans as Williams Baptist’s coach.
“It was her reputation that caught my eye,” Newell said. “I’m new to the area, and coaches around this area all spoke very highly of her. I followed those leads and came down here, and feel like I really got a diamond down here. She seems like a really great kid, a great Christian athlete. I look forward to seeing what she can do at the college level. I plan on building my program around Sara, and possibly some other players in this area.”
For Flenor, she says the decision to become a Lady Eagle was not a tough one at all.
“It’s small, and it’s a Christian atmosphere,” Flenor said. “It just felt like it was the right place for me.” Despite the excitement of her signing day, Flenor pointed out that she still has unfinished business as a Lady Badger, with her senior year of softball just around the corner.
“I hope that we can go back to state,” Flenor said. “We’ve been runner-up and semifinalist, but we’ve never won. I’m hoping we can do it this year; I’m excited about the chance to.”