Columbia State Community College (CSCC) head coach Johnny Littrell is well aware of the damage it can do, signing Forrest speedster Ciara Cook to a Letter of Intent on Tuesday to join the Lady Charger softball squad next season.
"You can't seem to get enough speed when it comes to softball, it is really important and Ciara, she really is one of those players I felt like who kind of flew under the radar," said Littrell. "We are glad when she decided to choose Columbia State and stay close to home, so we jumped right on her and we were on her all the time."
It is not the first time Littrell has come to Chapel Hill to steal a Lady Rocket speedster who has gone on to excel on the diamonds of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) circuit.
In 2009, Littrell tabbed another Forrest speedster in Haley Mathis, who went on to have a stellar career at CSCC.
"It is just hard to find her type speed and it reminds me of another player I got from Forrest in Haley Mathis and I compare Ciara to her," said Littrell. "That's what I have been talking to some people about, we are definitely going to use her in the outfield and she is going to get around those bases really well."
Cook, a five-year Lady Rocket lettermen and 2012 District 9A All-Season selection, led the Forrest squad with 35 stolen bases this season and was second on the team in batting with a .444 average.
At this year's Blue Cross Spring Fling, Cook set a state tournament record with five stolen bases in a game versus Silverdale Academy on May 24.
Cook also tied a state tournament record with 5-5 performance at the plate in that same contest.
"Speed, Oh Man!" said Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham. "You can't beat speed and you can't teach that and I have always told her that she is the best instinctive base runner we have ever had here."
Cook becomes the third out of four Forrest seniors to sign to play at the next level from the 2012 team with Adrean Jordan signing with Campbellsville University in Kentucky and Brooke Herron inking with CSCC earlier in the year.
"I think we could have easily had all four if Courtney (Hollandsworth) had chosen that route," said Cheatham.
Cheatham also talked about the continuing partnership between Forrest and Columbia State.
"We have sent several players to Columbia State, I haven't kept a running tally, but we have sent a bunch," said Cheatham. "And they have all been successful and we are pleased with that."
Cook, who is currently undecided on her career path at CSCC, sported a 3.3 G.P.A. at Forrest.
Cook also scored 46 career goals for the Lady Rockets' soccer team and was chosen to the All-District team the last two seasons with her performance on the pitch.
"I am pretty excited, I didn't think I was going to get a scholarship, but I got one, so it feels good," said Cook. "I didn't really know if I wanted to play college ball until we went to state and that made me realize that this is what I really wanted to do."
Cook talked about following all the other Lady Rocket players to CSCC.
"A lot of the girls I have talked to said they really, really liked it over there, so I hope it will be a good time and I am sure it will be fun playing softball."