COOKEVILLE -- When judging her priorities for a college choice, Cookeville High School senior Taylor Enochs said education was of great importance to her. The softball standout said after a trip to Lee University, it was clear that was the school she wanted to attend.
Enochs, a catcher, recently signed with the Lady Flames to continue her education and softball career. She said everything felt right when she visited the school and talked with coach Emily Russell.
"The campus was really, really pretty. And the team and the coach really helped me make my decision because Coach Russell is really involved in her team's life," Enochs said. "She took me and my dad out, and we didn't talk about sports. We just had a conversation, and I could tell it was something where she wasn't just going to worry about 'as long as I'm doing well and passing my classes'.
They have a tutor that travels with them, so I don't have to worry about somebody not caring about my grades."
Russell said she's excited to land a player like Enochs. "We are very happy to have Taylor Enochs sign with our program. She is a tremendous student-athlete," Russell said. "This is the type of player that any college coach looks for. She is a powerful hitter and a very strong catcher. "I look for her to help replace a graduating four-year starter behind the plate. She has great size and athletic ability. I am excited to see her in a Lee uniform. She will be very successful during her four years at Lee."
Enochs said she wants to study pre-med and oncology research, and would like to become a pediatrician. Among the other schools she said she considered were Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Emory (Ga.), Rhodes (Tn.) and Virginia Intermont.
Enochs said she's glad to have the choice behind her. "It's December, so that means I can spend my school year just concentrating on that," she said. "I don't have to worry about looking for that college and signing. It's a relief, more than anything."
Former Cookeville coach Joey Jones, who helped guide Enochs through her first three years of high school play, said Enochs' decision is a good one. "She's an outstanding player. I'm just proud of Taylor's decision," Jones said. "I think a lot of her decision was the education, which is what it's all about to begin with. She's a hard worker, and they couldn't have gotten a finer person to represent their program. I think she'll make Cookeville High School proud."
In addition to the educational aspect, Enochs has high hopes for her role with the softball team. "I'm hoping to maintain a position as a starting catcher," she said. "It's supposed to be me and another freshman catcher, so there's gonna be that competition there. I’ll hopefully be in the top of the batting lineup. I know one of the reasons (Russell) likes me is because of my hitting, and I'm hoping I can keep that up. I really hope we can do something this coming year."
The Lady Flames compete in the NAIA's Southern States Athletic Conference. In 2008, they finished with a 32-22 record and advanced to the Region XIII Tournament.
With the college decision made, current CHS coach Jeff Williams said Enochs is primed for a big senior year with the Lady Cavaliers. "She can catch, she can play first, she can play third," Williams said. "She can play multiple places and I like that. She's just a leader."
For Cookeville, Enochs has compiled a .324 batting average. As a sophomore, she was the team's co-captain. Enochs won the team's Lady Cavalier award as a junior, and is serving as captain for the team this year. She has also played for a summer travel league team, the 18-U Elite Diamonds, for whom she has batted .350.
From Sports Information