When looking for a college to play softball, it was important to Greenbrier High School’s Brooke Mackelburg that she be able to balance the sport with her schoolwork.
In a ceremony at the school Thursday, Mackelburg signed to play for Division III Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.) of the Southern Athletic Association.
For Mackelburg, who wants to become a nurse, the decision to attend Berry took all factors into account.
“I only have softball for the next four years of my life,” said Mackelburg. “There’s not a lot of opportunities past college, there’s not a pro league, so my education is definitely No. 1. for me. I want to be prepared for the real world and I know Berry will prepare me.”
In her senior season, Mackelburg hit .329 as the Lady Wolfpack went 26-8 and advanced to the first round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA softball playoffs. She was named 2013 First Team All-County.
Lady Wolfpack head coach Garrett Black thanked Mackelburg as much for her character as for her softball playing.
“Brooke has represented this school with class, she’s represented this softball program the way it should be represented,” said Black. “I’m very proud of her.”
Mackelburg spoke highly of her coach as well.
“I would not be where I was without Coach Black,” Mackelburg said. “Coach Black doesn’t just prepare softball players, he prepares women for life. We try to do things that will improve our morals, our character. He’s trying to create good people, not just good softball players, and I think that will help me going into Berry.”
While she’ll have one major adjustment to make, the Vikings’ coaching staff is a definite plus for Mackelburg.
“I really like the coaches and I’ve never played for a female before so I’m a little nervous about that,” Mackelburg said.
“A lot of the things that she does and things that she says and things she believes in is just like coach Black.“