Waggoner signs with Freed-Hardeman University

Friday, February 13, 2015
Sierra Waggoner, center, is flanked by her parents Mike and Shannon Waggoner at Forrest on Monday as she signs on the dotted line to play soccer at Freed-Hardeman University next year. Back row, from left, are Summer Waggoner, Forrest coaches Natalie Dennis, Nicole Pickle and Tyler Colvin, along with Freed-Hardeman coach Jason Elliott. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

In just three years, a newfound love has paid off for Forrest's Sierra Waggoner, who recently signed a Letter of Intent to join Freed-Hardeman University's Lady Lions soccer squad next year.

"I'm going to play soccer because it's really fun, Freed- Hardeman is a really good school, they have a really good soccer program, and I feel like I fit in really well there," said Waggoner. "And it's Church of Christ and that is what I am."

Fast learner

Waggoner started playing soccer in her sophomore year for the Lady Rockets, quickly developing the skills needed to excel at the game, but most importantly, Waggoner fell in love with the sport.

"The thing I love about soccer is I can run for days, I like to score goals for my team, being really fast, and just putting it in that net is really fun," said Waggoner.

Waggoner, a four-year letterman on the Forrest basketball squad thought her college sport was going to be on the hardwood, but had a change of heart as she began to seriously hone her soccer skills at camps and during the high-school seasons.

"I used to attend basketball camp at Freed-Hardeman and then I started going to their soccer camp and I got better and better and had a change of heart and chose soccer," said Waggoner. "I really still love basketball, but I love soccer more."

Great season

Sierra Waggoner (22) races to the ball versus Huntland last season in a game the Lady Rockets won 8-0.

Waggoner had a solid senior season as a Forrest captain, scoring 10 goals and dishing out two assists for the Lady Rockets, who went 9-4 and advanced to the second round of the District 9A-AA Tournament.

"Sierra is a great player, she has a good natural instinct, and a good attacking mindset, so Freed-Hardeman was interested," said Freed-Hardeman coach Jason Elliott.

"Obviously, her sister (Summer Waggoner) came and played basketball here, so there was a connection there with the family."

Elliot, entering his 14th season as the Lady Lions' coach, guided his squad to a 7-9-1 record last year and is excited about the addition of Waggoner, especially her speed.

"She has the talent and she has the speed which is one of her major strengths that will help her in the college game, and having that pace will probably allow her to compete for playing time," said Elliott.

Freed-Hardeman has a great record of turning out some of the top student athletes in the TransSouth Conference with a 134 Conference Scholar Athletes and 38 NAIA Scholar Athletes since 2001.

"I watched her sister play basketball for us, so we know the family," said Elliot. "That to me is one of the biggest things you are looking for in an athlete is are they going to work hard, have a good attitude and be a team person and we have no doubts she will be that player."

Waggoner, who sports a 3.8 GPA, will fit right in at the Henderson, Tenn. institution that routinely turns out scholar athletes who have GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

The effervescent Waggoner said, "I want to major in education and minor in communications, so you can look for me on the local news channel or maybe I will have a talk show like Jimmy Fallon, called Sierra."