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Newberry to live softball dream at Georgia College
Sydney Newberry
Sydney Newberry signs her letter Friday morning as her brother, Trent, mother, Allison. and father, Edward, look on in the Effingham County gym. - photo by Photo submitted
Sydney Newberry
Effingham County shortstop Sydney Newberry verbally committed to Georgia College nearly a year ago. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — Sydney Newberry affirmed  a decision she made months ago by putting her name on the dotted line Friday.

Newberry, Effingham County’s slugging shortstop, inked a national letter of intent to attend Georgia College in Milledgeville.

“I’ve been committed since last January,” she said. “Now it’s officially official.”

Newberry said there is plenty to like about her college destination.

“I just loved the campus and it’s far enough away from home. It’s just a day trip,” she said, “and I love the coaches, and the softball program is really good.”

Georgia College is a member of the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference. The Lady Bobcats finished 34-18 in 2019 and haven’t had a losing season since head coach Jamie Grodecki’s first year in 2011.

“They are in the conference that Armstrong used to be in.” Newberry said. “They compete well in the conference.”

Newberry is extremely knowledgeable about college softball programs in the state.

“Since probably the eighth grade, I’ve been going to all sorts of camps — from big D-1’s to D-2’s and all that,” she said. “I’ve been Mercer. I’ve been to North Georgia, which is also in the Peach Belt.

“Once I went to Georgia College, though, that’s where I knew I wanted to go.”

Even though she spent her entire prep career anchoring the Lady Rebels infield at shortstop, Newberry is amenable to playing other position for the Lady Bobcats.

“It doesn’t really matter to me where I play as long as I get in the lineup somehow,” she said. “I play shortstop and third base primarily but I can play whereever.”

Newberry has played each of the corner infield spots for summer teams.

“Playing collegiately has always been the main goal,” she said.

Newberry’s career objective isn’t as clear. She is consider business, sports marketing and sports broadcasting as academic majors.

“I want to thank my family and all my coaches because, without them, I wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I want to thank everybody who supported me along the way.”