Two Leonardtown High School seniors inked their letters of intent on Nov. 20 to play their respective sports in college, and still have one spring season of high school athletics to look forward to.
Raiders senior Tori Bowles signed to play NCAA Division I softball at Mount St. Mary’s University, and senior Calvin Flippin will play NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse at Anderson University (S.C.).
“I chose Mount St. Mary’s because I fell in love with the school and the coach was very good to me,” Bowles said. “The girls on the team really accepted me.”
Bowles’ goal had been to play Division I softball somewhere, and Mount St. Mary’s provided the senior catcher with the perfect fit.
“My goal was that I wanted to play Division I softball and Mount St. Mary’s was the perfect fit for me because the area reminded me of being home in St. Mary’s County,” Bowles said.
At a young age, Bowles’ father, Tony Bowles, got her interested in the sport.
“I started playing t-ball at the age of 4, and my dad got me into the sport,” Tori Bowles said. “I started playing travel fast pitch with my older sisters at the age of 9 with my coach Randy Guy.”
Last year, the Raiders finished with an overall record of 10-9 under head coach Kim Schrader and this spring Tori Bowles is looking forward to a successful season.
“In my senior year, I’m looking forward to catching one of my best friends, Lacey Bateman and playing with my cousins Kaylee Howe and Mandi Hill,” she said.
The Raiders’ backstop appreciates all that her family has done for her and how they have helped support her love for softball.
“I really want to thank my mother and father for spending their time and money with me in travel ball. I also want to thank big sister, Amber Bowles, for being somebody I always looked up to when I was little playing softball,” Tori Bowles said. “I want to thank all of my coaches, and I’d like to thank my number one fan, my nana. At Mount St. Mary’s, I will be wearing number 34 for my nana because that was the year she was born.”
Flippin fell in love with Anderson University after his visit to the school. His love affair with his sport has not existed for much longer, as he just began playing lacrosse in his sophomore year of high school.
“I chose Anderson University because of the excellent academics, the beautiful campus and the wonderful and welcoming community I experienced during my visit,” Flippin said. “I began playing lacrosse my sophomore year of high school at Leonardtown when [junior varsity head] coach [Alex] David saw potential in me and asked me to try out for the team. I instantly fell in love with the sport, and knew that I wanted to continue playing after high school.”
One of Flippin’s best memories from Leonardtown lacrosse was last season, when the Raiders topped Huntingtown 13-12 in triple overtime.
“At my time playing at Leonardtown I have most enjoyed the bond I’ve come to share with all my fantastic coaches and teammates,” Flippin said. “My best memory so far is beating Huntingtown 13-12 in triple overtime to secure one of the best seasons Leonardtown lacrosse has had.”
Flippin is excited for his senior year this spring, and is thankful for the support from his family and friends.
“For my senior season I’m most excited to come out on the field every game with all of my boys and try to win SMAC,” Flippin said. “I want to thank all of my coaches, my teammates and, of course, my parents for being my biggest supporters and pushing me to get to this point. It wouldn’t have been possible without all of them.”