Texoma Trio Heading to College

Three Texoma athletes signed college letters on Thursday.

At Rider Fieldhouse, Ashley Sissel signed to play softball at Dartmouth, while Taylor Caswell signed to play volleyball at Baylor.

Holliday's Morgan Lewis signed to play volleyball at junior college powerhouse Tyler JC.

Sissel said she has dreamed of playing and studying in the Ivy League for a while, but was still surprised when Dartmouth came calling.

"I never thought that I could actually do that. You know, be accepted. That's quite a feat," Sissel said.

"The moment Dartmouth started recruiting me, I was just like, 'Wow, an Ivy League school is recruiting me!' The potential of the opportunities are just unlimited."

Sissel was District 5-4A pitcher of the year in 2012, her junior year and first season on varsity. In 105 innings, she struck out 160 batters with a 1.27 earned run average on her way to a 12-3 record. She recorded seven shutouts, including two no-hitters and a perfect game.

She hopes to study mechanical engineering at Dartmouth.

Caswell could have gone to several smaller schools for more scholarship money and more guaranteed playing time, but she chose to attend her dream school, Baylor University.

"I know that I might could have gotten, maybe, more playing time other places," Caswell said. "But I just had to look at the overall picture, and I know that Baylor is a great place to have lots of opportunity."

Caswell credited her hard work with preparing her for this moment.

"It's something that's always been in the back of my mind," Caswell said. "Every game that I've played, 'You know, this is going to prepare me for college.'"

She said she's looking forward to the challenge of proving herself in the classroom and in the Big 12.

"Now I'm at that point, and I just can't wait to get a taste of it and be on my own and work hard because that's what I'm going to have to do."

Lewis looked like she would be a sure-fire Division I prospect before undergoing major knee surgery after the 2011 volleyball season.

She came back looking just as good as ever in 2012, leading her Lady Eagles to the state tournament and being named All-State by the Texas Girls' Coaches Association.

But the Division-I offers still didn't come back, with coaches still concerned about her health.

"My knee's definitely held me back from getting places that I wanted to go, because some people gave up on me," Lewis said. "But I'm going to show them that I can do it and I'm strong and I'll get through it."

She sees juco as a blessing, because it means she should get immediate playing time on a loaded team.

"I get to have the playing time both years instead of maybe, possibly sitting out at a Division I school my first few years," Lewis said.

TJC placed 5th at the NJCAA Nationals in 2012.

"I'm excited for it to get me to a Division I school because they're really great about helping you get to the next level after Tyler," Lewis said.

Hear from all three Texoma athletes by clicking on the video links!