SALADO — Shyenne Hicks hasn’t even played the first game of her senior season at Salado and Texas A&M-Kingsville can’t wait for her to arrive and do for it what she has done the past four years for the Lady Eagles.
On Tuesday, in front of family and friends at Salado’s gymnasium, Hicks took the next step in that direction, signing a letter of intent with the Division II Lady Javelinas, where she hopes to have an immediate impact on the softball field.
“They expect a lot out of me,” Hicks said. “They’ve always told me that.”
But for Hicks, the district Defensive MVP this past season, these type of expectations are nothing new.
“It’s basically like high school,” she said. “As a freshman, I was told I need to step up and start leading high school, so it’s pretty exciting.”
Hicks responded to that first challenge by winning 2011 District Newcomer of the Year.
That type of effort has earned her the utmost respect from Salado coach Kory Craddick, who said Hicks filled every void the Lady Eagles had last year, playing five positions over the course of the season.
“She does whatever’s best for her team,” Craddick said of Hicks, who played left field, right field, first base, third base and pitcher last year. “She never complains, she just goes out and works hard every day. And she gives everything that she has and has really helped this team become who we are.”
Craddick said Tuesday was rewarding to see one of his hardest working players have an opportunity to play at the next level.
Hicks said she was first offered in August and happily chose A&M-Kingsville, which stuck out to her because of its campus.
“The campus is really nice. It’s really small — it’s like Salado,” Hicks said. “I hopefully get to study on King Ranch down there, which that’s what I really want to do, so I’m pretty excited.”
Hicks said she plans to study agricultural business and later become a teacher.
But first she hopes to help the Lady Eagles — who return eight starters, all of whom are seniors — reach state in her final season.
And Craddick has no doubt that she is up to the challenge.
“Not only do I see (the hard work), the girls see that, and she’s a great leader in that aspect,” Craddick said, “and hopefully that gives them some aspirations to do something like what she’s done, work her but off and try to get to the next level.”