By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
Softball coach Tandy Dickens said having a senior leader like Sydney Koch made for an easier transition in her first year with the Carl Junction Bulldogs.
“I came in not knowing a lot about the girls,” Dickens said. “I was hired in July, so I didn’t have a lot of time before the start of the season. An important part of high school athletics is having leadership. Sydney is one of the best leaders I’ve coached. She has great passion, great dedication and great work ethic.”
Those qualities helped Koch land a softball scholarship with Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. She signed Tuesday in front of a group of teachers and students.
Koch earned first-team all-conference honors as a pitcher and middle infielder all four years for the Bulldogs. She will go to the Cavaliers as a pitcher and second baseman.
“She’s a power pitcher,” Dickens said. “She has pretty good velocity. She hit No. 1 for us and can hit anywhere from from 1 through 4. She was second in batting and has a good glove.”
Koch also was named all-district three years and all-region two years, including one year on the first team. She also has been successful in basketball and track and field.
She will be joining a Cavalier softball program that finished 43-10 and second in NJCAA District E this past season.
“I went on a lot of visits at schools in Florida,” Koch said. “When I visited Johnson County, the campus was beautiful and the coaches were great. It’s a good fit for me.”
Koch hopes two successful years at Johnson County will lead to a scholarship at a four-year school.
“My goal is to get a Division II or Division I scholarship,” she said. “I just want to continue my career. I will do my best for these two years, and hopefully it will lead to another two years.”
However, Koch isn’t interested in athletics alone. Koch boasts a 3.88 grade-point average and has earned academic all-state honors three years.
“I want to be an athletic All-American, but I also want to be an academic All-American.”