Fernandez signs with Jarvis College

Tabitha Fernandez is an athlete for all seasons.She’s participated in volleyball, basketball, and track and field during her four years at Hanna.But when all is said and done, softball is her sport.The senior multi-sport standout for the Lady Golden Eagles on Wednesday signed to play softball next school year for the Jarvis Christian College Bulldogs of Hawkins, Texas.They play at the NAIA level in the Red River Athletic Conference.Family, friends, teammates, coaches and schooladministrators gathered to celebrate Fernandez’ssigning at the Hanna gym. It was a joyous moment for everyone in attendance.And it was an event quite some time in the making.“I’ve been thinking about this (signing) since I was a baby — actually, since I could pick up a ball,” said Fernandez, who has earned all-district and All-Metro honors playing her sports with a fair share of them coming in softball.“I was always hoping and dreaming that I could be signed and continue my softball career.”Fernandez’s main position on the softball diamondfor the Lady Eagles this season is shortstop. She also pitches and plays third base. She’s being signed by Jarvis College as a utility player.“Tabitha is a four-year starter for us and she’s a very versatile player,” said Greg “Boomer” Larson, Hanna’s softball coach.“She’s a right-hander who has pitched and played shortstop and third base. It’s nice to have someone who we can plug in at different positions.“She’s very competitive, and she always wants to be the best at whatever we’re doing,” Larson added.“Her competitive nature is one of the things that makes her a very good athlete to coach. I think being a versatile player will give her a very good chance to get on the field early in her softball career in college. I believe once she gets on the field, she’ll prove she belongs there.” Fernandez said she appreciates her time at Hanna, particularly playing sports and building long-lasting friendships.“Honestly, I’ve been so blessed to be in this program because the coaches are so welcoming and helpful,” said Fernandez, who plans to study criminal justice and social services in college.“The coaches have shaped me into the player I am today.“I’m so happy I get to put myself in this position and I get to help my teams and Hanna make a good name for our school,” she added. “I hope it will be the same family-oriented and based type of team at Jarvis like it is here with the same types of friendships and the unity we have (at Hanna).”When asked if she had anything more to say, Fernandez said it is important to her to thank everyone who has supported her along the way.“I am thankful for all my coaches who have helped me get to where I am now, and for my family for pushing me, helping me and spending all their time on me so I could get this (athletic scholarship) offer,” she said. “My parents are Heriberto and Jessica Fernandez, and I thank them a lot.”