Mays takes alternate route to Roane State

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Forrest's Briar Mays is flanked by her parents Curtis and Stephanie Mays as signs a Letter of Intent to play softball next year at Roane State Community College in Harriman. In the back row are her siblings, Colby Ralls, and Lainey and John Curtis Mays. Photo by Anthony S. Puca

Forrest senior Briar Mays took a different route than most in search of her dream to play college softball, honing her skills in a spring league in Georgia the past three years for the Jack City travel ball team, and it paid off when she signed a Letter of Intent to become a student athlete at Roane State Community College in Harriman.

"I don't really know why I didn't play for Forrest the past three years, I just needed to get out of Chapel Hill and build myself as a ball player and get my mentality right," said Mays.

Back home

Mays is back in the fold for her senior year at Forrest and is happy to be a Lady Rocket once again.

"It's been fun, I was going to play spring league again, but everybody came to me and said, please play your senior year," said Mays. "So I didn't have anything to lose and now I am honestly glad I did, because I am having a great time with everybody."

Mays has made her mark as a speedy, slap hitting, versatile defensive player with great energy and those attributes are what attracted her to the Roane State coaching staff.

"Briar is a great kid, very enthusiastic, brings a lot of passion to the game, and has a great work ethic," said Roane State assistant coach Jessica Hackworth. "She is going to join our group next year and do a lot of damage, she is going to have a huge impact with her drive to win and passion for the game."

Georgia connection

The Roane State Raiderettes, who compete in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) along with Columbia State Community College, Motlow, Volunteer St., Jackson St., Dyersburg, Southwest Community College, Walters St, and Chattanooga St., are no strangers to recruiting players from the Georgia spring league and Mays' Jack City travel ball squad.

"She plays for Michael Cannell in travel ball and he always has a great program with Jack City and I have recruited players from him before and I trust what he does in getting his student athletes ready for college," said Hackworth.

Hackworth added, "I understand it's difficult for some high school coaches to accept that their players don't want to play in the spring, but as a college coach if that kid wants to get better, it makes no difference to me, it's the fact that she is pushing to get out there and get seen and get a college education."

Strong addition

Forrest head coach Becky Cheatham is also glad Mays is back and is hoping she can be an added catalyst for the Lady Rockets, who have qualified for the state tournament the past three years.

"Briar is a good kid and we are looking for her making a big edition to our softball team and we wish her the best at Roane State," said Cheatham. "Her strengths are her speed and her ability to play multi positions and I am happy about her attitude, she has just gone about her business and done what she has to do."

Mays currently sports a 3.5 GPA at Forrest and will get her General Studies out of the way at Roane St. before pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice.