By HOLLY ESCHENBRENNER
As a middle school student, Morgan Imhoff set an ambitious goal that would drive her over the next six years to master a sport. Her goal was to play softball at the collegiate level. It seems the hours spent training, traveling, and pushing herself to meet the college standard has finally paid off for the 19 year old. After spending one year playing softball for a community college in Poplar Bluff, she has officially signed to play softball for Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. Imhoff has been interested in Missouri S&T since high school. She recalls, "I fell in love with the college at the first game I went to my sophomore year."
For Imhoff transforming herself from an athlete with natural talent to become the dexterous player with true ability that she is today was a family affair. Her father, Walt Imhoff, has been her main supporter. She reminisces, "It was about seventh or eighth grade and I decided I was going to play ball in college. My dad and I talked forever. He got me to the tryouts. I made the teams. He has been in it my whole life." Her parents could always be found in the stands, having never missed a game while she was growing up. She says, "The hardest thing about going five hours away to Poplar Bluff was knowing that my parents were not going to be at every single one of my games."
Imhoff played for five competitive softball teams and for Jamestown High School before making her way to the college stage. She earned numerous awards and honors during her high school years. She consistently made all-conference and all-district teams starting her freshman year. For two consecutive years she was honored as the CCAA Conference's Most Valuable Player. She was also bestowed two all-region honors and was named all-state her senior year.
Upon graduation, Imhoff spent her college freshman year playing softball in Poplar Bluff for Three Rivers Community College. She was an important asset to Three Rivers being fully capable of filling any empty field position. Although, she will truly miss her teammates and coaches, she was able to use Three Rivers as a stepping-stone. There she was able to develop a better school work ethic and more productive time management skills. She had to juggle the intense schedule of "going to practice, getting homework done, and going to class" on a daily basis. Imhoff says, "I definitely feel more prepared for the next step now that I've had one year of college."
Her next step will involve studying Business Management at Missouri S&T. As a sophomore in high school, Imhoff attended a three-day summer softball camp affiliated with the university. The softball players and coaches in Rolla were impressed with her abilities and felt the young athlete would make a nice addition to their team. "I went down there for a camp," she recalls, "and immediately the girls and the coaches and I had a great bonding experience." Imhoff continues to attend the camp each July. Upon admittance into the university and into her program of study, she was offered a position on the Lady Miners' Softball Team. By agreeing to play softball for Missouri S&T her goal has officially been met and with ambition like hers, she will likely make quite a difference in Rolla.