Playing college softball is something many girls grow up dreaming of doing, but actually reaching that goal is something few of them will get to experience.
That’s why 2018 Tooele High graduate Sydney Turnbow was so excited when she got the opportunity to extend her softball career. She will spend the next two years at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado, after a successful run with the THS softball team as well as her travel team, Utah Liberty.
“It’s huge for me, because it’s always been a goal to play college softball ever since I started playing, really,” Turnbow said. “To be actually saying that I’m going to play softball at a college somewhere is huge for me — it’s a dream come true, really.”
Turnbow saw her role with the Tooele softball team change this past season, as the Buffaloes’ impressive depth kept her from seeing as much playing time as she had previously. However, she embraced that challenge, and feels she is a stronger player and teammate for it.
“There were a lot of trials that I had to work through, and I wouldn’t be the same ballplayer without it,” she said. “There were lots of opportunities out there for me, and the coaches helped me through a lot of things. It was a great opportunity to play there.
“I really tried to pick it up a lot in different aspects of the game. I tried to help players out more with the psychological and mental side — helped to boost them up. At practice, I tried to help push them as hard as I could. I don’t feel like my importance to the team changed, but my role on the team changed a little bit.”
That said, Turnbow is excited to get back to playing the game she loves rather than watching it from the dugout. She’s also looking forward to playing for the Rattlers, who made her feel welcome when she visited Otero for the first time.
“It’ll be so fun — it’ll be amazing there,” she said. “When I went to Otero … the feeling that I got when I went there from the coaches and the players is really what drew me there.”
Turnbow is also excited for the opportunity to continue her education at the school in southeastern Colorado.
“My biggest goal on the education side is to go and get my associate’s degree,” she said. “My other biggest goal is to play and finish out — because I don’t know if I’m going to play two years after this — but finish out my game, keep playing strong and play as much as I can.”
Turnbow credited her time with Utah Liberty Softball for helping her get the exposure she needed for colleges to notice her.
“I owe a huge thanks to them for helping me get to where I am, because I wouldn’t be here without them,” she said. “I thought I was pushing myself, but as soon as I got there, they were pushing me to my limits and I wouldn’t be the same ballplayer.”