Former Augusta softball head coach Ray Aguirre, who is now the head assistant coach at Friends University, tried really hard to convince Katy Nordman to come play softball for the Falcons next year.
Though the situation wasn't the best for Nordman at Friends, that didn't stop her from wanting Aguirre at her signing Wednesday afternoon.
"It's kind of emotional, because I wouldn't know how to play softball without him, and I wouldn't be where I am without him. When I asked him to come, we both started crying," Nordman said.
Nordman instead chose one of her many other offers and decided to play softball at Highland Community College next year. Nordman signed a letter of intent at Augusta High School. Nordman also knows that Highland will set her up nicely after two years playing there.
"It's good because I know that I'm not going to stop here. I'm not just done after high school, but I also plan to use Highland to get to even a bigger level if I can," Nordman said. "This is another stepping stone for me, hopefully."
"It is unbelievable, especially with Nancy being the assistant coach for as long as I was here and knowing Katy since she was born, it's kind of like my own daughter moving on," Aguirre said.
Aguirre said he hopes Friends will be as perfect a situation for Nordman in two years as Highland is for her now. He knows she'd fit in nicely with the Falcons and brings a lot to the table.
"Her knowledge, the way she knows the game, it's hard to find kids today that understand the game, that can be a leader on the field, plus be a leader off the field," Aguirre said. "Katy's skill set is as good as anybody's we've recruited in years."
Nordman will have a nice setup in Highland. She'll live with her Aunt, she'll see her brother Tyler, who is the director of student life on the campus, and she already has a job with the school lined up.
Nordman knows things will be different, though. She's always had her mom, assistant coach Nancy Nordman, by her side, as well as Aguirre throughout her playing career.
"Just the coaching style and getting used to different coaches will be a big challenge," Katy said.
Current Augusta coach Shane Steinkamp, who also has worked with Katy for several years, is proud to see another Oriole continue on with her softball career.
"It's a great opportunity for anybody, but for Katy, just because of her desire and the athlete that she is, it's great for her to go to the next level and experience somewhere where she can walk in and help right away," Steinkamp said.
Katy is the third Oriole to sign with a college in three years. Former Orioles Christina Downs (Class of 2012) and Kalie Robinson (Class of 2013) are teammates once again at Friends.
Steinkamp has done everything he can to help prepare her for the next level of competition. Katy, a third baseman, will be ready to play her position a little deeper and be able to handle hits her away at a faster speed. He's confident she'll be successful.
"She's a gamer. You hear that a lot, but the kid plays hard," Steinkamp said. "Defensively she's got great hands, moves really well and is just strong. She's going to be able to put up some numbers at that next level."
Katy earned All-State Second Team honors and Second Team All-League honors her freshman season. She earned All-League Honorable Mention her sophomore year and First Team honors last year. Katy also has lettered in volleyball all four years and bowling three years. She also lettered in basketball this season.
She plans to study education when she gets to college.
Katy's parents are Troy and Nancy Nordman.