From Rattler to Tiger

Sharyland High athlete signs NLI to play softball at East Texas Baptist University

After competing on the Sharyland Rattlers softball team, a Sharyland High School senior has signed on to compete for the East Texas Baptist University Tigers.

Tristen Maddox signed to participate in softball for East Texas Baptist University at a Tuesday ceremony. The university is, an NCAA Division III school located in Marshall, Texas. The Lady Tigers compete in the American Southwest Conference won their 9 ASC Tournament Championship last May and finished their season with a 39-6 record.

Tristen Maddox (center) along with her teammates, family and coach at her National Letter of Intent signing to compete at the East Texas Baptist University softball team Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. Progress Times photo by Jose De Leon III.

Maddox is a four-year letter winner in softball and a three-year letter winner in volleyball. She was the district 31-5A Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, the 31-5A MVP as a sophomore and the 31-5A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. Academically, Maddox is ranked in the top 30 percent of her class.

“They have a good softball program and a kinesiology program that I want to study,” Maddox explained. “Playing softball in college is a dream come true, I’ve been wanting to do this since I was young and it makes me happy to be here doing it. My mom played when she was my age and she got a college scholarship but decided not to play. I hope I’m making her proud.”

Maddox’s mom, Nikki, was at the signing and reflected on her own past as a volleyball player in college where she was offered an athletic scholarship but declined it to be closer to home and join the United States Marine Corps.

“Tristen playing softball in college is amazing, she’s surpassed anything I’ve ever dreamed off and I am glad she’s got the opportunity and to push her forward and get her an education while she plays,” Nikki said. “It’s been a lot of work to get there but it’s been worth it to watch her do something she loves and learn what hard work is.”

Maddox’s softball coach, Paul Cruz, praised her skills and said she’s one of the top players in the district.

“Offensively and defensively, she is sound. She will be an impact player, she moves so quickly and be one of the better hitters on the team. She’s ready to start the first year, that’s how good she is. She’s always been a great role player and an equally great role model for her teammates and I wish her the best.”

Maddox also competed at the Rattler’s volleyball team. Her volleyball coach, Raul Castillo, reflected on Maddox’s work ethic.

“We knew volleyball would always be her second sport, but if you watched her play you wouldn’t be able to tell. That’s how dedicated she was,” Castillo said. “She’s a hard worker and naturally talented and brought the best out of everyone and gave 100 percent without being asked because it came regularly for her.”

This article originally appeared in the Friday Dec. 6, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

1 Comment

  1. Mary Tee Greeson on April 20, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    I am so proud of my beautiful, beast of a granddaughter, when she plays ball she gives 100%. I love watching her play, unfortunately, I live in Maryland so I don’t get to watch as much as I like. Tristen excels in everything she sets out to do. She continues to amaze me. I wish only the best for my Tristen and know she will make the Tigers proud!! Congratulations Tristen. Also reach for the stars. You are one special girl! Grandpa and grandma are very proud of you and love you so much! Go Trisren and Tigers!

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