By Sgt. William Tanner, 2d Cavalry Regiment Public AffairsApril 21, 2014
ROSE BARRACKS, Germany -- Hard work and dedication throughout the high school years may be one of the best ways to get into college. Students pursue many different avenues while applying to the colleges they are most interested in attending, but for one Vilseck High School athlete, that pursuit seems to have been put to rest.
During team practice on April 16, 2014, at Rose Barracks, V.H.S. Softball Player Brittany C. Watkins, accepted a scholarship offer and signed a formal letter of intent to play for the University of Charleston based in Charleston, W. Va.
"It's amazing," said Watkins. "I've worked a long time and it has always been my dream. So it's finally here and it's absolutely exciting!"
Watkins is the daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Augustine L. Watkins, a military police officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Cavalry Regiment. She has been with the softball team since her family moved here her junior year.
"She's been an excellent surprise," said Jim Hall, head coach of the team. "She came here as a junior last year and did a fantastic job for us."
Throughout the day's practice, Watkins' work ethic and tenacity on the field showed with her ability to cover down on second and third bases from her position at short stop whenever the ball was hit into the outfield. It was her athleticism that allowed her to get a runner out at second base on a throw that looked to be too high for her to catch during the practice.
"She usually plays centerfield," said Sgt. 1st Class Watkins. "She is known on the team as the 'Captain of the Outfield' because of the leadership she displays on the field."
It was plain to see she felt comfortable playing anywhere on the field, whether it was outfield, infield or even batting.
"She is an All-Europe player and one of the best players right now," said Hall. "When she really starts connecting with the ball, she will be amazing because she really pounds the ball when she hits."
Watkins agreed but went more in depth when describing her time with the team.
"The Vilseck softball system is amazing," said Watkins. "There's a family focus here. It is really a close knit community and you can feel that on the softball field."
As much as she loves the game of softball, Watkins is smart enough to have more than one plan for her future.
"I want to major in biology when I get to college," said Watkins. "I want to be a veterinarian but I am going to be in R.O.T.C. (Reserve Officers Training Corps) and enter the Army when I am done with school."
Sergeant First Class Watkins is proud of his daughter's achievements as a softball player but especially of those off the field.
"She is a heck of a player, but she is also getting scholarships for academics and through R.O.T.C.," said Sgt. 1st Class Watkins. "She was also the first and only volunteer at the Vilseck Veterinarian Clinic in the last six or seven years."
Before all of this happens, Watkins still has one more season left to play with her team.
"Right now, we are two and four, record wise," said Hall. "We haven't played enough games yet to be consistent. We have a European tournament coming up and we will have six to eight games. The more we swing a bat at the ball, whether on the ground or in the air, the better we become."
As focused as she is on helping to get this team to a better record, Watkins still realizes her dreams are starting to become a reality.
"To play college ball and succeed in that, I would really like some recognition there because it has always been my dream," said Watkins.