Megan Warhurst to continue athletics at college level
College scholarship signing day is always a memorable and emotional time in the life of a high school student-athlete. It’s a moment that means he or she gets the opportunity to further that playing career past the prep level.
Nov. 14 at the Russellville Field House, Megan Warhurst signed to play softball at the University of West Florida in front of family, friends, teammates and coaches. The senior left-handed pitcher has another year to play at RHS and is looking to lead the Golden Tigers this season before taking her pitching talents to the circle for the Argonauts.
Warhurst also had offers from UNA and West Georgia, but a longtime relationship with the coaching staff at UWF developed after she attended camps on the campus in Pensacola dating back to her eighth-grade year. “They had interest in me since I was an eighth-grader, and they just made me feel like I was at home, and I’ve just loved it ever since,” Warhurst said.
New head coach Ashliegh McLean takes over the program at West Florida this season, but Warhurst is already comfortable with her coaching style because McLean was on the staff as pitching coach the past three seasons at the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference program.
“She recruited me, and I had a close relationship with her,” Warhurst said. “I’m excited.”
Russellville head coach Kathryn Montgomery said a few qualities make Warhurst special on the diamond.
“Megan is one of the most dedicated, hard workers that I’ve ever met,” Montgomery said. “She is one that understands that pitching is not just a one-day-a-week type job.”
Montgomery said that dedication will serve Warhurst when she goes to the next level. “When you move on to college, there’s not just one or two girls who are pushing you; it’s the whole team,” Montgomery explained. “You get pushed by the other teams, you get pushed by your coaches, you get pushed by your teammates, and you get pushed by academics. She is really just ready to go to the next level in every realm of the sport and school. A lot of hard work is waiting for her, but she is not one that is scared of hard work.”
Warhurst was joined by parents, Chad and Jennifer on signing day, both of whom are RHS graduates. Jennifer is also currently the principal at Phil Campbell Elementary.
“I’m going to miss my family whenever I go down there,” Warhurst said during her celebration. “I’m so thankful for all of these people that could be here today. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
With another year to play coming up at Russellville, Warhurst will be a key part of the Golden Tiger squad this season.
“We will be looking for her to lead us,” Montgomery said. “She doesn’t just lead us with physical action; she leads with words as well. She pushes her teammates to be the best that they can be.”
“State is our goal, and it’s going to happen,” Warhurst added. “We have a mentality to get to state this year. If all nine of us on the field work hard and get together and want to do it, we’re going to.
“I don’t care if I have to drag all eight of them behind me – we’re going to go.”