PREP SOFTBALL: West Point’s Minck signs with Northwest-Shoals

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Bethany Minck is joined by her mother, Starr Minck (left) and father, D.J. Minck (right) at her scholarship signing ceremony Tuesday. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – West Point High School’s library was packed with friends, family, teammates, and coaches Tuesday to celebrate the latest achievement of one Warrior’s athletic career. West Point Softball standout Bethany Minck was sought by several schools that wanted to add her talents to their rosters, but she made it official Tuesday and signed to continue her playing career at Northwest-Shoals Community College.

It didn’t take long after meeting Head Coach Angel Brown for Bethany to decide she wanted to play for the Patriots and she’s already looking forward to building relationships with her new teammates.

“I’m hoping to make some new friends there, maybe some best friends,” Minck said. “The first year I plan on living at home, but I’ll be moving up there for my second year. I’m really excited for the practices and just hanging around each other and bonding.”

Some of Minck’s high school coaches shared a few words about their time with her at the signing ceremony, starting with coach Steven Harbison.

“You guys know we’ve had a few come through here that have gone on to play at the next level and Bethany is special,” Harbison said. “Not just because she’s super skilled, which she is, not just because she’s a hard worker, which she is, but she’s got a great attitude, she’s a great teammate, she’s great in the locker room and she does so many things for this program. I’m amazed at who she is not just as a softball player but as a person. She’s just a great person.”

Another one of Bethany’s former coaches, Eric Pendley, was unable to be at the ceremony in person but sent a letter for her that was read by Coach Justin Cornelius.

“Congratulations, I wish I could be there in person. I’d rather be there with you than speaking at a mayor’s conference. I am so excited for you and remember clearly writing your name down as a starter in the seventh grade. Mike (Brown) and I both discussed this because my biggest fear is ruining a player’s confidence. He and I both agreed you would be fine. As always, we were correct. I remember clearly you making the biggest, last out in the county championship, shutting down a very good Good Hope team. I remember in the area championship after we lost the lead in the last inning of the if-necessary game when you started the inning off with a bunt. It was from the left side of the box and that might’ve been one of my worst coaching moves. But you started a rally as we took the lead and then again, you made the last out in our school’s first area championship. I remember the day you struggled in Guntersville, and I pulled you from the field the last few innings but what I saw that Sunday was a kid at the field taking extra reps. You jumped right back in the lineup and never looked back. I have spoken with several coaches this past year about you, and they all kept talking about your great energy and attitude. You have chosen a great place with a great coach in Coach (Angel) Brown, and she will make you better. I want you to know that I’m very happy for you but here is my challenge. First, lead your Warriors back to Oxford. Next, I’m going to be honest, struggle is coming at the next level. But let me remind you of this, you are built for it. Go do big things. Don’t let this be the last goal you achieve. Go lead the Patriots to the nationals, go be All-Conference, go be All-American, don’t be satisfied. Be that hungry, little seventh-grader that made big plays. I love you and will end with this, you have my number, and you will hear from me. I know the grind and I will be your motivator. I think every kid I coached will tell you I keep up with them and encourage them. You will need it and I am here. I love you, congrats.”

Bethany is excited to get to work with the Patriots but when asked what she’ll miss the most about her time at West Point, her answer was simple.

“Definitely the people, I love them, and I’ll really miss playing for my high school team.”

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