Dreams, reality entwine for Bowyer

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lakeland's Sarah Bowyer officially signed with North Carolina Wesleyan College on Wednesday at Lakeland High School with her brother, Peter, and parents, Carri and Bruce Bowyer, in attendance.

Lakeland’s Sarah Bowyer officially signed with North Carolina Wesleyan College on Wednesday at Lakeland High School with her brother, Peter, and parents, Carri and Bruce Bowyer, in attendance.

Lakeland High School senior Sarah Bowyer has earned the perfect ending to a successful high school athletic and academic career. In a ceremony on Wednesday at Lakeland, she signed to attend North Carolina Wesleyan College, where she will also continue her softball career.

“It has honestly been a dream ever since I was a little girl,” she said. “I would watch the college world series on TV, and I’d tell my parents that that’s going to be me, ‘I’m going to play in college.’ And now it’s actually happening.”

She received a full academic scholarship from Wesleyan and was also recruited there to play softball at a familiar position — catcher.

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Before the scholarship, “We were sure she was going to college, we were just concerned how we were going to pay for it,” her father, Bruce Bowyer said. “And she was accepted to every school that she applied to.”

Those schools included Coastal Carolina University, St. John’s University and Guilford College. One other major school made her college choice challenging.

“It was a really difficult decision, because I was accepted to the University of Virginia, and that was one of my big dream schools,” Sarah Bowyer said. “But thinking financially and opportunity-wise, I would have a (softball) position at North Carolina Wesleyan, and my college would be paid for, so I figured that would be the best decision to go with.”

“I think it’s wonderful that she’s been able to accomplish this,” her mother, Carri Bowyer said. “I’m excited.”

Sarah Bowyer, an eight-year softball veteran, said travel teams helped developed her into a college-level talent. Those teams have included Legacy Elite 18U Robinson, which is her current squad, the Smithfield Galaxy, for which she played at the 12U through 16U levels, and the Suffolk Sting, for which she played when she was 10.

Lady Cavaliers head coach Cara Byrd is not surprised Bowyer is joining the ranks of college players.

“I’m excited for her, because she’s a true competitor, and I know that there was no way she was going into college without playing softball,” Byrd said.

After talking with the Wesleyan coach who was excited about Bowyer’s chances to start as a freshman, Byrd said, “I think that’s going to be a good fit for her.”

Between her time as a student at Isle of Wight Academy and Lakeland, Bowyer is a four-year softball letterman. As a freshman at IWA, she made the all-tournament team at the state level, and as a sophomore and junior at Lakeland, she has made the all-district second team.

She credited both schools for helping her develop academically. She will graduate fourth in her class at Lakeland with a 4.28 grade point average. In addition to the academic team, she has been involved in many organizations, including Rho Kappa, the National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, the Anchor Club and the American Sign Language club.

She plans to major in criminology.