MINFORD — A plan that’s been over a year in the works finally came to fruition for Minford senior Hannah Tolle.
In a Twitter announcement just prior to the start of her junior season, Tolle announced that she would be continuing her education and softball career at Fairmont State University located in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Over a full year later, those plans became a reality — as Tolle recently signed her national letter-of-intent to become a Falcon.
Fairmont State is an NCAA Division II institution that competes in the Mountain East Conference — alongside opponents such as West Virginia State, Urbana, Charleston and others.
“Signing my letter-of-intent meant that I am about to start a whole new life four hours away and I will be playing the sport that I fell in love with when I was eight years old,” Tolle said. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Located 21 miles southwest of Morgantown (W. Va.), Fairmont State has an enrollment of around 3,800.
Upon enrolling at Fairmont State, Tolle plans to earn a bachelor’s in nursing degree with plans to work in the field of intervention radiology nursing.
“Fairmont State has a beautiful campus, and the coaching staff and players were so welcoming when I first went there for a camp,” Tolle said. “The university also has the best nursing program in West Virginia, which was also a big reason as to why I chose to go there.”
And, as if the above selling points weren’t appealing enough, Minford is similar to Fairmont State in the fact that both places have a “Falcon” for their mascot, making the transition from “Falcon to Falcon” seem seamless.
“I have put so much of my time into softball and being able to finally see my work pay off is just amazing. I get chills every time I think about going to the college of my dreams and playing the sport I love,” Tolle said. “I’ll miss everyone here in Minford and everyone has a special place in my heart. There is so much more I could say but I can’t even think of the right words to explain everything. I’m going from a Minford Falcon to a Fairmont Falcon. Once a Falcon, always a Falcon.”
Tolle’s accomplishments are staggering as the hard-hitting, multi-purpose player has already broken the Minford softball records for home runs in a season AND home runs in a career — both before her final year of play.
However, she remains one of hundreds of Scioto Countians and one of thousands of Ohioans whose senior spring sports season is in flux due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that all of the state’s (K-12) schools would remain closed through at least May 1, in an attempt to follow federal social distancing guidelines.
In an accompanying move, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that its currently-postponed spring sports season would also be postponed until at least May 1.
A four-year varsity player in soccer, basketball and softball during her time at Minford, the impact of decisions such as these impact players like Tolle, who have literally put their life into sports — even though the decisions may be for the best for public health concerns.
“All good things come to an end. I have grown up with these girls and being able to play with them throughout my career has been amazing. Minford High School has truly led me to where I am today and I couldn’t be more thankful for that,” Tolle said. “From the practices we already had, I can tell that this season was going to be amazing and fun, and I believe we will be able to have a successful run if we’re given the opportunity.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved