Shyenne Hicks always liked the similarities between Texas A&M University-Kingsville and her alma mater, Salado High School.
But with less than a month before she finally arrives in Kingsville for the fall, Hicks was looking forward to the differences between high school and college softball as she prepares for her inaugural season as a Javelina.
“It’s a new adventure. It’s new people,” Hicks said. “I’m not going to see the same exact people as I’m used to seeing, but I’m just ready to explore new things.”
Coming off a season in which her Lady Eagles reached the Region III-2A final while Hicks won her second straight 22-2A Defensive Player of the Year award, Hicks has continued to hone her game by playing select ball.
And even after a long season that ran into late-May, Hicks didn’t take long to rest before she was back out on the field.
“After high school was over,” Hicks said, “I took like two weeks off and then I was like, ‘OK, I’m bored. I’ve got to go and do something.’”
In addition to working on her game at home, Hicks said select ball has also been particularly beneficial thanks to having a coach who is very familiar with the college game herself.
“My club coach, she used to play in college and she was a college coach,” Hicks said, “so she’s pushed us to where I think that I’ll be able to fit in at college.”
What else will help Hicks transition to the next level is having known a few of her future teammates.
Hicks said she played select ball with Rachael Longoria, of Hutto, when she was younger and is looking forward to being reunited with the third baseman/catcher.
Hicks also said she knew former Waco Midway third baseman Valerie Ramirez, who will be a senior at A&M-Kingsville next season.
But Hicks said that everyone on campus has been great to her, which was reaffirmed when she attended orientation earlier this summer.
“Everyone down there is really super nice,” Hicks said. “They’re not like, ‘Oh no you need to do this, you need to do that.’ It’s super down-to-earth people.”
And, of course, the similarities to Salado don’t hurt.
“They’re like Salado, they try to get the kids involved on campus and stay involved with different things,” Hicks said. “They have so many different organizations and different camps like when we get down there for school.”
But in the end, Hicks was most excited to begin the new experience of college, on and off the field -- one that she hopes will be as successful as her time was at Salado.
“I know it’s going to be different and it’s going to be weird, but I think I’m ready to play with new girls that have been playing at the college level,” Hicks said. “And I think it’s going to be to a point where they’re going to push me and push me.
“And hopefully, just like I broke records this year for high school, I hope I can break records there.”