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Big day for Troup’s Loftin

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

With her time as a high-school softball player at an end, Troup High’s Skye Loftin is ready to take on a new challenge.

Loftin, a four-year starter at Troup, has signed a letter of intent to join the softball team at Southern Union, and she made it official during a ceremony on Tuesday afternoon in the school’s media center.

Many of those who have helped Loftin reach this point, including family members, teammates, coaches, and faculty members at Troup High, were there to celebrate the moment with her.

“I’d like to thank my teammates and my friends for making softball so much fun, and for always making me laugh through every moment,” Loftin said. “Playing on Tiger Field has been such a fun experience. I’m so happy to have been able to play these last four years here, and I’m so sad to see it end.”

Loftin added that “Tiger softball will always have a place in my heart but I’m excited to see what the future holds as a Bison.”

Loftin was a third baseman and first baseman at Troup, and she was one of the program’s top players for four seasons.

Loftin posted impressive offensive numbers that netted her numerous honors, including a spot on the all-region team.

Kayla Yeargin, Troup’s softball coach, said Loftin “works all the time.Even after our season ended this year, I go down to the field and she’s hitting because she just wants to continue to get better. That speaks a lot of her not just as an athlete, but of what kind of person Skye is.”

Yeargin added that “I’ve had the privilege of teaching her, and knowing her from her freshman year in the class room which means a lot, and we have a very special bond, from the bus rides home, to the jokes, to everything we have. I can’t tell you how much losing Skye is going to mean to me personally, but also to our program. She is such a large presence.”

Another one of Loftin’s supports is principal Niki Watts.

“There are a handful that you just connect with right off and are extremely special to you.” Watts said. “And Skye is certainly one of those handful for me.”

Watts added that “I was thinking about what makes Skye special. Her athletic ability kind of speaks for itself, but in all honesty I couldn’t put my fingers on one thing. I think there are a bunch of things that make Skye special. One of the things I love about Skye personally is she’s pretty transparent. You don’t ever have to wonder what Skye’s thinking. And that honesty is refreshing.

“Sometimes,” Watts added with a grin, “we might have to rein it in just a little bit, but I can tell you nobody can accuse Skye of not being upfront, and that’s going to bode well for her in the future, and that says a lot about who she is, and the character that she has.”

Loftin sharpened her softball skills not only playing at Troup, but also through her travel-ball experiences as a member of the Firecrackers.

Loftin’s travel coach is her father, Brent Loftin, and she appreciates everything he has done for her over the years.

Speaking of all of the coaches who have been there for her, Loftin said “I would not have this amazing opportunity at the next level without your help, especially from you dad, because you push me and you work with me and you’ve help me since I was a baby, and being there for me every step of the way really meant a lot. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

One of Loftin’s coaches at Southern Union, Michael Garner, was on hand for the signing ceremony.

“I also want to thank my Southern Union coach, coach Mike, for giving me this amazing opportunity to play at the next level,” Loftin said.

Yeargin believes the best is yet to come for Loftin.

“Iron sharpens iron, and she’s going to be playing against some really good ballplayers that’s going to make it even better,” Yeargin said