MASON, W.Va. — A taste of success only makes the hunger for it that much greater.
After leading the Wahama softball team to the regional tournament in back-to-back seasons, and becoming one of the first Lady Falcons to compete in the North versus South All-Star softball game, there isn’t much left at the high school level for Rachel Roque to accomplish.
Luckily, on April 4 in the WHS gymnasium, Roque signed her letter of intent to play softball for Ohio University-Chillicothe next spring, where a whole new set of accomplishments await.
“This means everything to me,” Roque said. “For a while, where I had broken my thumb, I didn’t think I was going to be able to continue playing. It means a lot to me that there’s so much support behind me to keep pushing and to continue my softball career.”
As a junior Roque was a first team outfielder on the Class A all-state list, and she helped the Lady Falcons claim a sectional title. As a senior, Roque was the leadoff batter and starting centerfielder for the Lady Falcons, and she was named all-state honorable mention, after helping the Red and White make it to their first-ever regional final. Rachel is a three-time first team all-league choice in the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.
“I think that Rachel should start right out of the gate, she’s that kind of player,” second-year Wahama head coach Matt VanMeter said. “I think that she can play D-1 level ball, but she’s going to the school she wants to go to and she’s lucky enough to play softball, a sport that she loves. I think she’ll fit in and be a great asset for them.”
While still undecided on a major, Roque’s decision to choose the Hilltoppers had a lot to do with atmosphere.
“It’s small, but it reminds me of home and it’s not too far away,” she said. “It’s kind of more of a family-team than just a team with everybody thrown in together, and I really like that.”
Rachel hopes to continue to play outfield for the George Beck-coached Hilltoppers, which has claimed four Ohio Regional Campus Conference Championships in the past five years.
Meanwhile, VanMeter is hoping that Roque’s success will help inspire more Lady Falcons to reach her level.
“Hopefully this opens up some eyes,” VanMeter said. “Hopefully her teammates see that if they work that hard — because there’s no one else on this team that works as hard as Rachel does — they can go on and they can do something after high school.”
At Wahama, Roque also exemplified what it means to be a student-athlete, finishing with a 4.0 grade point average, placing among the top-10 in the 2016 WHS graduating class.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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