College recruiters are already taking notice of Nation Ford senior center fielder Brittany Jones. She says two schools have begun to show heavy interest in her.
For the coaches who have yet to discover her, they recently had their chance.
Jones was selected to participate in the third annual Queen of Diamonds Showcase South, held at Winthrop University in Rock Hill Aug. 30-31.
Jones, who has been playing softball since the first grade, put her skills on display for college coaches around the country. The largest softball event of its kind in North America is designed to give Jones and the more than 260 participants a chance to show collegiate coaches their skills.
The showcase featured athletes from 33 states and Canada.
"I just want to get noticed," Jones said. "I will try my hardest to get schools to notice me."
The scouts were out in force looking for talented players like Jones. While the event is mostly for juniors and seniors, several underclassmen were invited to show off for the recruiters.
Coaches and recruiters flock to the event to fill their remaining roster spots or to uncover hidden gems waiting to be recognized.
"Where else in the world can you see 260-plus players that have been selected from a group of outstanding athletes out of a pool of [over] 2,000?" said QDSS Director Kurt Whiteside.
"The athlete that makes the QDSS cut is a very special player."
For Jones, who was All-Region last year, this was a chance she looked forward to. One of her goals this season is to make the All-State team and get recruited to play softball on the college level.
Jones batted .410 last season for the Falcons. In 20 games, she recorded five stolen bases, five doubles and four triples while driving in 18 runs. Jones also played near flawlessly in the field, and finished the year with a fielding percentage of .981.
So far in her career, she has made a name for herself on the field as a player who plays aggressively and has an excellent throwing arm in the outfield.
"Brittany is a solid game and practice player; She leads by example," Nation Ford head coach Michael Kidd said.
"She is not one to bark orders; Everything she does she gives 110 percent. She has one of the most wonderful attitudes of any player that I have ever coached and she has the talent to match it."
Kidd recently coached at a camp and used Jones as his model of how to play the game.
"She can hit for power and average from the right side and she can slap at the ball for hits from the left side," Kidd said.
"She is very versatile and skilled. She plays a great center field, but can play catcher or any position you put her at. She has good speed and the best arm from the outfield in the entire region."
Jones wants to play college softball, and thanks to her ability she will have the opportunity. When she gets to college, she plans on studying secondary education in order to become a physical education teacher.
Kidd, who will served as a coach for the showcase, sees it as a great opportunity for Jones to get noticed.
"The best thing to come out of the showcase was for her to be seen. All of the college coaches can see what we see in her, and it is mostly her attitude."
Jones admits she is hard on herself, but that it drives her to be a better person and player. She credits her older sister as her role model and biggest influence.
Though she is keeping her college choices open at the moment, she should have many more options since the showcase.
"I work really hard at the things that I try to stand out for," Jones said. "I try to do the best that I can."