Seventeen-year-old Faith Cobb made history today in becoming the answer to a Leroy Greene Academy trivia question for decades to come: Who was the first LGA athlete to sign a letter of intent to play college sports?
Faith was honored at a brief campus ceremony today, where she committed to playing softball next year for the Willamette University Bearcats in Salem, Ore.
LGA, the district’s newest high school, graduated its first senior class only two years ago. Its sports program was launched five years ago, but initially had only underclassmen, not likely to attract many college sports recruiters. Today’s signing is a big feather in LGA’s cap.
Faith characterized today’s signing as a dream come true. “I’ve been playing softball since I was 7 years old and this has always been a goal of mine,” she said, adding that she loves the game and looks forward to donning a Bearcats jersey. “I’m happy to go there.”
She’s also pleased to be LGA’s first college athlete. “I feel special,” she said, smiling, when asked about the honor. “I’m glad to put the school more on the map.”
Her father, Steve, who coached Faith in softball for years, said he felt overwhelmed with emotion at today’s signing. “It’s an awesome feeling,” he said.
MaxPreps, an online high school statistics service, listed Faith with dominating hitting statistics in 2016-17, her first year on LGA’s varsity softball team: Her 28 at bats produced 22 hits – a .786 average – with 19 runs scored and 19 runs batted in.
MaxPreps did not list statistics for last year, and Faith’s senior season will not start for several months. Faith hopes to play shortstop or outfield for the Bearcats, she said.
Shawna Fadden, her LGA coach, described Faith as a sparkplug for the LGA Lions’ team, a versatile player – pitcher, shortstop, and lead-off batter – who “sets a tone for the game that others follow.”
“Faith is a great asset to our team,” Fadden said. “She helps her teammates get better by teaching, encouraging, and leading by example.”
Asked what makes his daughter a standout athlete, Steve Cobb pointed to her intelligence and instincts under game pressure. “She knows what’s going to happen before it happens – and she’s probably one of the best team players,” he said.
Faith hopes to work in the sports field long after her softball career ends – perhaps as a physical therapist or athletic trainer. She is college material in the classroom, too, with a cumulative grade point average of about 3.0, which she vows to increase this year.
James Brown, a sports performance coach who has worked with Faith for several years, praised her “passion and dedication to the process of learning and trying to achieve more and excel further.”
“I think the special part about Faith is her being able to overcome – to see an obstacle and overcome it,” Brown said. That drive will take her far in life, whatever career she chooses, he added.