Dawson County High School senior Sydney McGinnis knew she wanted to continue playing softball and when she visited the campus of Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, she knew that's where she wanted to do it.
"We just took a trip up there and I ended up really, really loving the campus and thinking the coach was a pretty great person so it just seemed right after I went there," McGinnis said about her first visit to the Division 2 School.
The university initially reached out to the McGinnis family and Sydney did not know that she would even want to look at it, but her mom Wendy wanted to visit.
Sydney consented and on Nov. 9 she signed to play softball for the Battlers.
"She's been a great kid for us and she's going to be an even greater asset to them," said Athletic Director Grady Turner.
McGinnis and her family gathered with teammates and friends in the high school library to sign and celebrate.
"I am so happy and proud for Syd," said softball coach Jimmy Pruett. "She has worked hard for so many years for this moment.
"I don't think she has even tapped her potential yet of how good she is going to be. I am just really excited. Hope I get an opportunity to watch her play."
Wendy McGinnis praised the coaches and people who had supported Sydney along the way.
McGinnis started softball at the age of 7 and has since played on travel teams and twice for America's Team traveling to Italy and the Dominican Republic.
She finished up her senior year with a .356 batting average, 33 hits and 17 RBIs. She also had five doubles, four triples, 10 stolen bases and six outfield assists.
McGinnis was also name to the all Region 7-AAA first team.
"It is just kind of weird to think about this actually happening after working for so long to try to achieve this," McGinnis said.
"I was proud of her maturity and how she approached it. She said, dad you know this isn't just allowing me to go play softball for four more years, but I am getting to go do what I really want to do for the rest of my career. It's just a bonus I get to go play softball," said McGinnis' dad Jeremy.
McGinnis' ultimate goal is to become a trauma surgeon and Alderson Broaddus' pre-med program has a 100 percent placement rate of their students in medical schools.
"That was actually a really appealing factor...as long as I make it through their pre-med program," she said.
"It feels like a good way to kind of wrap up the last of my high school experience getting to go somewhere I really want to go and keep playing the sport that I love for a really long time," McGinnis said. "It's kind of great to get to continue that."