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Oxford Softball Standout Reagan Sanders Overcomes Challenges, Celebrates Emotional Signing Day

Oxford’s Reagan Sanders gets a hug from her father, Jeremy, as her mom, Jenny, looks on during Monday’s signing ceremony in the school’s media center. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Oxford’s Reagan Sanders gets a hug from her father, Jeremy, as her mom, Jenny, looks on during Monday’s signing ceremony in the school’s media center. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Oxford, AL – Oxford softball standout Sanders celebrates emotional signing day she was told would never come, bound for Gadsden State.

By Joe Medley

College signing ceremonies mark victories for lots of people, and some of the biggest victories involve athletes who sign with the smallest schools.

Seated at the head table in Oxford High’s media center Monday, an emotional Reagan Sanders felt victorious Monday as the Oxford senior who transferred from Munford leaned into father Jeremy’s embracing right arm. She’s the latest beneficiary of Gadsden State Community College’s restoration of softball, but her day to sit before family, friends and teammates and celebrate meant so much more.

Oxford’s Reagan Sanders gets a hug from her father, Jeremy, as her mom, Jenny, looks on during Monday’s signing ceremony in the school’s media center. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Oxford’s Reagan Sanders gets a hug from her father, Jeremy, as her mom, Jenny, looks on during Monday’s signing ceremony in the school’s media center. (Photo by Joe Medley)

“Daddy has really been there for me, throughout a lot,” she said. “Sophomore year, I went through a really hard stage in my life and almost quit. It was a struggle.

“So, thank you, daddy, for always being there.”

Sanders transferred after her sophomore year and flourished as a utility player for Oxford as a junior. She batted .381 with 43 hits, including 12 doubles, and 27 RBIs.

“Reagan played multiple positions for us last year, from second base, to third, to outfield, to anything we asked her to do,” Oxford coach Wendy McKibbin said.

Sanders earned her team’s award for utility player of the year.

“Not only is Reagan a great softball player, she’s an even better person,” McKibbin said. “Changing schools halfway through high school is not easy. She knew a lot of people here before, but she stepped right in, and she was a big factor in our program last year, and I expect great things out of Reagan this year.”

Reagan Sanders’ memorabilia display for Monday’s ceremony to mark her signing to play softball for Gadsden State Community College. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Reagan Sanders’ memorabilia display for Monday’s ceremony to mark her signing to play softball for Gadsden State Community College. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Sanders can expect softball beyond high school, and therein lies the victory.

She had her day to sit between her mom, Jenny, and dad at the head table and hear grand intros from Oxford hall-of-fame athletics director Larry Davidson and McKibbin. A memorabilia display with Oxford and Gadsden State jerseys, pictures, plaques, glove and ball, bats crossed like swords and red, black and white balloons lined the wall to the right of the table.

“Sophomore year was very challenging for me,” she said. “I felt like my coach had no faith in me. She basically told me that I would never make it to this next level. With the coach telling me and making me feel that way, it was just a very humbling in my life. I really almost quit. It was just bad.

“Thankfully, my dad was there for me, and my mom, and my sister, and they were just, like, ‘Don’t give up.’ Trust God and his process.”

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