Brooke Farrer is the latest Bartow High School softball player taking her talents to college as she signed a scholarship with Cedarville University on Thursday in the BHS cafeteria.
Head coach Glenn Rutenbar said she is the about the 70th player from the team to play in college in the teams’ 28 years. He’s been coach of the team all 28 years.
“This makes me real proud,” Rutenbar said to the crowd of about 50 people who came to the BHS cafeteria for the signing. “But I told her don’t you get up there and for a week and want to come back.”
Referring to any homesickness she may experience he may have been referring to the fact that she has spent her life in Bartow. She has played for four years for Rutenbar.
Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, has a pretty decent softball team itself. This year its record is 25-10 and is ranked 24th in the nation. However, the Yellow Jackets (that is Cedarville’s team nickname) softball team isn’t the sole reason Farrer likes the school. Wanting to major in pharmacy, the school has a top school in that major with a seven-year program that she liked. She enjoyed the school when she visited it last year, she said. Being a top student is also in her bag as she carries a weighted 3.8 grade point average.
She also likes the religion background the school has. She has been active in the First Baptist Church of Bartow’s youth group for years.
Only playing as a pitcher this year, Farrer wasn’t sure where she’d play next year but on Thursday, even at the signing, her thoughts were more on Bartow’s Class 7A district game against George Jenkins at Kathleen High School.
“We just want to get a state championship for the coach,” she said at the signing.
Bartow won the game Thursday 8-2 to win its fourth district championship in a row. Bartow next will host its opening regional playoff game which will be against the winner of the Harmony-Osceola game. That game is 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24. With the victory, the Lady Jackets record is 22-5.
The pride in her signing was felt around the room Thursday as after she signed the papers she posed for pictures with dozens of friends at the head table who snapped of photos on their cellphones.
With her at the signing was her brother, Zach, an eighth grader who plays center field on a travel ball team in town. He knows he has a good person to follow in his older sister.
“I’m just happy she’s able to go somewhere,” he said. He said he just wants to follow in her footsteps to get good grades so he can succeed.