Fifteen athletes from New Albany’s most recent graduating class are beginning their transition into college and playing at the next level, including the duo of Taylor Goode and Ellen Tarrant.
Both continuing their careers at Northeast, Goode and Tarrant have braved the heat during team and individual workouts, preparing for their respective seasons.
“We started football practice earlier this month, and the seven of us from New Albany commuted to practice Monday through Thursday each week,” Goode said.
“We’ve been working out and running together, and I think the heat index has been like 110 degrees every day, so it hasn’t been easy, but it’s been fun having a lot of teammates from high school.”
Tarrant joins the Lady Tigers softball team and former West Union standouts Kimberly Jumper and Claire Wilkerson, and having familiar faces has helped her adjust to her new team.
“It’s been a lot of fun. Knowing them has made the transition a lot easier because I grew up with them, so playing with them has been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to playing more ball with them,” she said.
While softball practice does not officially begin until later this month, Tarrant enjoyed getting to know her new teammates during a tournament in June.
“We played in a tournament hosted by Booneville High, and they let us play in that on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” she said. “It was a really good experience getting to know them, and it was good hour-long games we were able to play. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to working out and getting into a college routine.”
Goode added the big jump in practicing at Northeast, as he and his fellow Bulldog teammates are fighting for starting roles with the Tigers.
“It’s a big jump, for sure. Everyone is a lot bigger and faster, and everyone is good,” he said. “You don’t have any weak players on the field; everyone’s tough.”
Regardless of the difficulty, both are fortunate to have the chance to continue playing.
“It’s a lot of fun. I love nothing more than the game of football, and to be able to play at the next level is a dream come true,” Goode said.
“My passion for softball is about the same as his with football, so it is a dream come true to play at the next level,” Tarrant added “It’s something that means a lot to both of us.”
The duo were honored last May as the recipients of the Bulldog Award, the highest honor for an athlete at New Albany High, and hope that the success they had in high school will carry over to Northeast.
“It means a lot for us to have won that award,” Goode said. “ and maybe we can continue to do well and represent New Albany in a good manner.”