Kevin Colley, Staff Writer
MINFORD — When a player takes on two sports at the next level, it can be a big undertaking … especially with a full-time class load added on.
However, Emily Shoemaker’s faith and drive have guided her through every decision she’s made successfully.
The three-sport Minford standout, who has starred on the pitch, the diamond, and the cross country course for the Falcons, officially announced her intentions to play both soccer and softball at Kentucky Christian University on Friday afternoon at Minford High School.
“It’s really a surreal feeling right now,” Shoemaker said. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like playing two sports in college, but it’s something that I have always worked for, and having to pick one of the sports wasn’t what I wanted to do. So being able to play both sports in college is a blessing because I truly love both of them.”
Over the course of her high school career, Shoemaker has proven to be a versatile athlete who simply has the most important trait that one could hope for as a coach — dependability.
The senior, who will be entering her third season as a starter in the outfield, hit .333 in 2018 in 90 official at-bats alongside a home run, 12 doubles, and 18 RBIs as the team’s leadoff hitter. Shoemaker also led Minford to an 11-6 overall record on the soccer pitch and took a primary role in the team’s midfield this past season.
As good as Shoemaker was in those sports as a four-year letter winner, her efforts in cross country were just as stout, if not more so. Shoemaker contributed to an SOC II championship-winning unit in 2018 and represented the school with first-team all-SOC honors after helping the Falcons dethrone Waverly as the league’s girls cross country champion.
Then, there’s Shoemaker’s work in the classroom — where the senior is a member of the National Honor Society and an A-average student.
That push to be successful in what Shoemaker has pursued, however, is something she credits her parents for instilling in her.
“They just told me to work really hard so I could push myself and meet my goals,” Shoemaker said. “They’ve been huge for me. I can see myself playing in the outfield, and in soccer, I see myself playing in the infield as a forward. That’s huge. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to play the sport that they love in college, much less play the positions that they love.”
It’s also helped Shoemaker to have strong coaches in her corner who have provided stability for both programs. While Art Doll will be in his first season as the head coach inside Minford’s softball program, Doll has coached Shoemaker since she was nine and has served as the program’s longtime pitching coach. Shane Tieman and Anne Marie Allen have been mainstays inside Minford’s girls soccer and cross country programs.
“It’s been really nice,” Shoemaker said. “They’ve always pushed me to be the best that I can be. Having Doll, Tieman, and Allen as my coaches have always been nice, because they’ve always pushed me.”
Being pushed by her significant others, along with herself, has allowed Shoemaker to get to where she is today. Now, she wants to pursue a deeper relationship with Christ — so she can progress even further tomorrow and into the future.
“It’s really nice having all of the support that I had,” Shoemaker said. “All of my family and friends were here, and I just think that was really nice having everybody here to enjoy this moment. They’ve all helped me so much along the way, from standpoints that go far beyond the athletic specter. I’m truly blessed to have the opportunities that I have been blessed with, not only athletically and academically, but in my faith as well. Growing in my faith is a big deal to me.”