Liberty Hill senior Courtney Weems has seemingly been a fixture on the Lady Panthers softball team for years. But softball is more than just a game to her; it is a way of life.
The Austin native, known as “Big Red,” has lived in Liberty Hill most her life. Weems, 18, began playing T-ball when she was 7 years old and started playing softball a year later.
The Lady Panthers’ outfielder eats, drinks and sleeps softball.
“I love the sport more than anything,” Weems said. “I like proving people wrong and the field is the place I can take my stress and everything else out from the day. It’s more than the enjoyment of the game, it’s become my lifestyle.”
Her love for the game has grown exponentially along with her skills, propelling her to the Division I prospect she is today. Once Liberty Hill’s season is over, which she hopes and thinks will not be soon, Big Red will sport the red for the Texas Tech University Red Raiders.
She will play outfield in the Red Raiders’ softball program on a full athletic scholarship.
The most exciting occurrence Weems has experienced was the day she was given a scholarship offer from Texas Tech and its Head Coach Shanon Hays.
“I have worked so hard to get to the level I am now and to have a college coach want me as part of their Division I college team is an honor,” Weems explained. “I’m so excited to get out to Lubbock to play!”
When she is off the field, Weems enjoys shopping and hanging out with her friends. The exceptional athlete she is, she also really likes working out. But if you ask her, she prefers to be on the field, her domain.
As one of the seniors on the team, Weems considers herself to be on a team of leaders.
“I think all the leaders work together,” she said. “One person can’t lead a team and the seniors do a great job of each playing a part in leadership.”
Liberty Hill Coach Charice Hankins agrees with her leadership status and the fact that Weems is an integral part of the team’s success this season.
“Courtney (Weems) is having a great season,” Hankins said. “She is the leader in the outfield, and on our team. She is aggressive and wants to catch any and all balls anywhere near her. She works hard and is so dedicated to softball and her team. She is very hard on herself and expects to contribute every time she is up to the plate and always on defense. She is a true competitor, and helps with the mentality of the toughness in our outfield play.”
Quite simply, the Lady Panthers would not be the competitive team they are today without Weems as part of the mix. And there is work yet for her to do in Liberty Hill while wearing the purple and gold.
Before graduating and moving on to college softball, she wants – and believes – her team has what it takes to leave a championship mark at Liberty Hill High School.
It all begins with team chemistry.
“I think the team plays together very well and we back each other up at all times,” Weems said. “We are able to put together runs and hits and plays because we are constantly there for one another. There is no doubt in my mind that we have a team capable of going back to the state tournament and coming out on top with a championship.”