“She played outfield, but she also played several other positions for us,” he said. “She runs the bases well; if she’s at second and there’s a single, she’s going to score. She’d probably steal bases more if I would let her.”
But there’s one quality, he says, that outshines all of her skills.
“The most important thing is that she’s a good person,” Isbell said. “That’s the way I look at it.”
Lane became the fourth Pell City Lady Panther to move on to the next level Monday morning; she signed a scholarship to Gadsden State Community College for the next two years. She is the fourth member of the Pell City squad to sign a collegiate scholarship, and the third to do so with Gadsden State.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I was kind of nervous today.”
Lane was part of a Lady Panther team that was highly successful in 2010 — they advanced to the AHSAA regional tournament in Huntsville, and finished the season with a record of 33-18. She said she received an invitation for a tryout last week.
“They asked me to come try out,” she said. “After that, they asked me if I would like to come play.
“They’re good people. They’re a good team and I liked the coaches.”
Coaches Jeanne Kerr and Rebecca Goodwin were both on hand to represent Gadsden State.
“It’s very unusual to have three from the same class,” said Kerr. “It’s a real testament to the program coach Isbell has here.”
The coaches said the two biggest adjustments for a student-athlete ascending to the next level are the speed of the game, and the challenge of living away from home.
“We treat our team like a family,” Kerr said. “That makes a big difference, to have a family away from home.”
Kerr added that the community college level would afford opportunities at the next level, as well.
“The opportunity will definitely be there,” she said. “If you have a good two years with us, you will have that opportunity.”
On Monday, however, Lane wasn’t worried about that.
“I’m just going to let that play itself out,” she said. “Once my two years is up, I think I’d like to go to JSU, maybe major in business management.
“But we can worry about that later.”