JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 1, 2007) - Even though head ETSU softball coach Andrea Mangrum completed her 2007 recruiting class a few months ago, two of her signees Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) and Kaela Jackson (Morristown, Tenn.) were not done making news for their hard work on the field. The pair of incoming freshmen received TSWA All-State honors last month, and Henderson also took home The Jackson Sun's Female Athlete of the Year award for her dominating 2006-07 season.
Henderson, a three-sport athlete at Trinity Christian Academy, led the Lady Lions to its second straight Class A state title back in May. The outstanding catcher finished her career as TCA's all-time leader in batting average (.390) and RBI (167), including a 159-44 mark while playing under Robert Craft. During her final three seasons with the Lady Lions Henderson hit a whopping .432 with 135 RBI, and posted a .425 clip with three home runs and 50 RBI in 2007. The talented star also enjoyed a stellar four-year basketball and two-year volleyball career at TCA. Her volleyball team advanced to state her sophomore year, and she was the leader of the Lady Lions' basketball team this past season. The point guard led TCA to a 30-4 mark, and her team finished the season fifth in state after reaching the state semifinals.
Success on the field was not the only thing Henderson brought to the table, as she also managed to build a 4.2 grade-point average, which was the third highest among her graduating class. Henderson became the first student-athlete in TCA history to receive an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship when she signed with the Bucs in May.
"I believe this is only the beginning for her achievements," said Mangrum. "She has laid a solid foundation both on the field and in the classroom that will help her excel at ETSU. She has great character and a strong work ethic. Those two components alone will ensure success in our program."
While Henderson was tearing things up in Class A, her future teammate (Kaela) Jackson was doing the same in Class AAA for Morristown-West.
Jackson, a four-year letterwinner at Morristown-Hamblen High School West, helped lead the Trojans to a 27-6 mark in 2007. She is a proven leader both on and off the field as she was the team captain since 2005, and received the Trojan Leadership award in 2006. This season Jackson hit .520, with 39 hits and 30 RBI, and posted a .425 average with 17 RBI last season. Jackson was the only player on her team to receive all-state honors.
"I am so proud of her perseverance in coming back physically and overcoming the obstacles to be an all-state recipient," added Mangrum. "Her determination and desire to succeed is what made her fight back from a series of knee injuries. She also has great character and a strong work ethic that will continue to guide our program in the right direction."
Ashley Boyd (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Vicki McCoy (Ringgold, Ga.) join Henderson and Jackson in the Softball Bucs' 2007 recruiting class.
McCoy will join Team USA in Thailand where she will participate in the World University Games. The Americans will be joined by Japan, Australia, Korea and the Czech Republic in Pool B. The top four teams in the group will advance to the championship tournament. Pool play starts Aug. 8 in Bangkok.
"I am very proud of all their accomplishments, and our staff/team can't wait for the recruiting class to join our program this fall," said Mangrum.
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