Fourteen years ago on February 28, 2006, I, Shannon Virginia Fentem, was born. Five years later, my incredible softball journey would begin with the hardest challenge yet, tee ball. Coached by none other than my parents. When you begin at rock bottom, there’s only one way left to go and that’s up. So, that’s exactly what I did and four years later I started travel ball. Now, this is when I fell in love with the sport of softball. I have always loved a challenge and travel softball gave me the most fun challenge I have ever had. I surprised everyone when I said I wanted to pitch. The coaches didn’t believe I would pitch that season since I had just started pitching that year. I worked every night and when the coaches found out what I was capable of, they put me in all the tournaments and I showed them the results of all of that hard work. While my star player profile was growing, I started to really figure out what I truly love and some characteristics that made me who I am. While my love of softball grew, so did my love of volleyball, making me a two sport athlete. I began to really enjoy music, especially rock and some musicals that help calm me before and during games. Movies and film were something very important to me as a kid and still are now. My life was going great, but some of this did come at a cost.
Ever since my family and I realized how big sports, especially softball, were going to impact our lives, we made sports a priority. My dad, especially, would get stressed and have me practice nearly everyday and at some points, we would start arguing. I love my dad with all my heart and he has gotten so much better since then, but I don’t think I ever fully recovered. My confidence had nearly gone down the drain and I always got worried when he got frustrated, making me do worse in my practice or lesson. After a lot of hard work, I am getting better now and I still love the sport. I have learned so much about mentality and relationships with my parents. They make me who I am and I am so thankful to have them. This last year has been a blast with my 8th grade softball team going to State. I also accomplished the goal of making an elite travel volleyball team. Through this journey, I have learned some of my core values including having confidence, working hard, and continuing to challenge yourself. I am always open to new information and learning new things which has made many coaches describe me as, “very coachable.”
However my highest priority is my academics. I have a natural talent for mathematics but also have a strong interest in writing and literature. I am looking for a program to challenge me and help me embrace my athletic and academic ability. I believe I have not only the mentality and skill to compete at the college level, but I believe I can continue to surprise you and make an impact on not only your program, but you and my teammates as well.