Big day for Troup’s Rice
By Kevin Eckleberry
She was a part of the best softball team in Callaway High history, and now Skylar Rice is ready to make some new memories on the playing field.
Rice, who helped lead Callaway to the second round of the state playoffs last season, has signed a letter of intent to play softball at West Georgia Tech.
Rice made it official during a signing celebration on Thursday afternoon, with friends, teammates, coaches and family members there to enjoy the moment with her.
After spending time on the West Georgia Tech campus with members of the team, Rice was sold.
“I went to practice with the team, and they liked me, and I really liked them,” Rice said. “It’s more like a family, and I really like the environment there.”
West Georgia Tech is getting a player who enjoyed an exceptional career at Callaway.
Rice was a four-year starter, and she had an outstanding senior season, hitting .400 while driving in 27 runs.
During a state-playoff win over Douglass-Atlanta, Rice hit two home runs in the same inning.
Rice was an outfielder and first baseman during her time at Callaway, and she was also an effective pitcher.
“I don’t know what their plans are for Skylar (defensively), but I know they’ll have somebody that can hit,” Callaway softball coach Ashley Summerlin said. “She’ll probably have to adjust to the speed a little bit, but she can hit wherever she is. And she’ll do a good job (defensively) whether it’s first base or the outfield.”
Summerlin coached Rice for the past four seasons, and he said she has been a model student-athlete.
“She’s a great ballplayer, but she’s just a good person,” Summerlin said. “That’s what I’m more proud of than anything. That’s a testament to her mom and dad. She doesn’t complain, she does what you ask her to do. You can coach her as hard as you want to. She’ll do what she needs to do, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Rice will miss her Callaway family.
“I’ve loved it here,” Rice said. “I really love Callaway, and I really love all my coaches and everyone here.”
As for her teammates, including fellow senior and close friend Kelly Carlisle, Rice said “they’re all great people.”
Making the transition from high school to college will be an adjustment, but Rice will just be a short drive away from home.
“Just living away from my parents will be the biggest thing,” Rice said. “That’ll be weird, but I’m excited. I like it because it’s not too far from here.”