By DAVID CLAYBOURN
ROYSE CITY —
Years of hard work have paid off for Royse City senior softball player Kyla Simmons, who signed a letter of intent on Thursday to play for Abilene Christian University.
“I’m very excited,” she said, following a signing ceremony in the RCHS library. “Words can’t describe.”
Simmons said she’s been working toward this moment since the day she started the sport.
“Every day for the past 14 years of my life,” she said. “There’s no break. There’s no offseason. I definitely think it’s the most difficult game around and you have to work really hard at it.”
Simmons is a three-time all-district selection who also earned academic all-district honors. She’s also earned all-district honors in volleyball and played a season of basketball.
Simmons is a catcher for the Lady Bulldogs but said the Wildcats haven’t told her what position she’ll be playing.
“It doesn’t matter as long as I’m playing and hitting,” she said.
Simmons has also played club softball for the Hurricanes, Texas Glory, Texas Elite, Texas Travelers and the Texas Rapid Fire.
Her mom, Michelle Booker, is the head softball coach at Royse City.
“She’s been working for this since she was four,” said Booker. “I think she’ll be fine. I think it’s going to take some time to adjust to the pitching styles and the speed of the game.”
Simmons is joining an Abilene Christian University athletic program that is moving up from NCAA Division II to I and is switching from the Lone Star Conference to the Southland Conference.
The Wildcats went 30-18 last season in Division II softball under returning head coach Bobby Reeves.
Simmons, who plans to major in occupational therapy with a minor in missionary work, considered other Division I scholarship offers from Belmont University (Tenn.) and Tennessee Tech before choosing Abilene Christian University.