Souderton senior Naila Neely has signed a letter of intent to continue her softball career at Towson University. (Photo provided)
Naila Neely – Towson University (Softball)
Final list of colleges: Towson, Bryant
Reasons for choosing Towson: “Towson felt the most like home. My parents and I connected with the coaches and felt very comfortable with the team. I believe that this university will provide me with the resources and opportunities that will allow me to succeed in the future. I am extremely excited and honored that I get to play as a Towson Tiger.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in softball at the collegiate level? “When I was a freshman in high school, I started to play for a national travel softball team where they specialized in playing at college showcases and gaining exposure to get its players recruited.
“I also was following in the footsteps of my older sister who is now playing Division One softball at the University of Maine. I saw what she could achieve, and I knew that if I worked hard, I could compete at the highest level. I started the recruiting process as a freshman, and I was recruited in the beginning of my junior year.”
Coach Carol Atkinson says: “Naila is very down-to-earth and genuine. She has a great heart – her heart is always in the game. She’s always there to mentor other players. She was one of our team captains this year. No matter what, she’s always coachable and was one of the most coachable girls I’ve ever seen. She’s always looking to learn something new, how to make herself better. She’s always at practice, one of the first ones there and one of the last ones to leave. I wish I’d gotten to know her a little bit more. I’ve only known her for two years.”
Former coach Liz Parkins says: “Naila was one of those kids that came in as a freshman – she was kind of shy and quiet, but she worked hard and she had good skills. She started as a freshman and would have started all four years. Naila caught, she played second, she played outfield for me. She was very versatile and could go anywhere on the field that we needed her. Naila was a good power hitter – when she made contact, the ball went. Because of her speed, if we had her bunt, she could leg it out. She’s just a solid player. She’s also an honor student, an all around good kid and was just really awesome for the program. I’m excited to see what she does at Towson.
Favorite food: “My favorite food is any type of sandwich. I love sandwiches.”
Favorite movie: Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Favorite TV show: New Girl
Favorite artist: Ruel
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