Vaught's View: Jacobus, Pennington end successful seasons

June 02, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Every year this area is blessed with numerous talented high school athletes, including many who earn the opportunity to continue their sports careers in college.

While it's easy to keep track of those who go on to play a major Division I sport, sometimes we tend not to know about the success stories of many other former area athletes.

Former Boyle County standouts Taryn Jacobus and Renita Pennington both recently completed successful college seasons once again.

Jacobus, a junior golfer at Union College, was named a Daktronics-NAIA Women's Golf All-America Scholar-Athlete, one of only 36 players to receive the honor. She became only the third Union golfer to earn the honor, which requires that an athlete maintain at least a 3.5 grade-point average after three years of collegiate play.

Jacobus, a sports management major, finished the season by tying for 53rd in the NAIA Golf National Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla. She set a school record for the lowest four-round total with a 335 despite shooting an 84 in the final round. She was 20 strokes better than anyone on her team, which finished 22nd.


Jacobus tied the school record for the lowest tourney round with an 82 in the third round. Her 251 total after three rounds was also a school record.

Pennington, a junior, made the Sun Belt Conference team for the second straight year. The outfielder had 57 hits and hit .317, second best on the team, to earn second-team Sun Belt honors. Earlier in the season she was named to the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic all-tournament team.

She had a team-high 20 stolen bases and is already Western's all-time steals leader. She started all 58 games for Western, which finished the season 35-23. She also had career highs in doubles (three), triples (three) and runs batted in (10)

Pennington moved to center field this year, but did not make an error and had a team-high six outfield assists.

Anyone who watched Jacobus or Pennington in high school should not be surprised by the success either has had on the collegiate level. Instead, it should only confirm what we all know - this area produces standout athletes in every sport every year.

Other athletes from this area are doing well, too

Another former Boyle player, Lyndsey Neal, has had an outstanding basketball career at Bellarmine. Former Mercer County basketball player Joe White was a contributor at Tennessee Wesleyan as a freshman. Former Boyle baseball players Josh Bertram and Derek Christerson helped Cumberland College win a conference championship this season.

The list could go on and on and encompass practically every sport because this area is blessed with more than only football talent. Not that the football talent isn't overwhelming at times, based on the number of former area players playing college football - and there's no indication that number is going to do anything but increase in future years.

However, as Pennington and Jacobus have shown, there's also life after high school sports for former area athletes in a lot of sports, not just football.

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