It’s usually not noteworthy when an eighth grader chooses her high school, but it was when Samantha “Sam” Roe, a 2022 grad who plays catcher and in the infield, left Rocky Bayou Christian in Niceville, Florida for Niceville High last year.
Sam posted numbers worthy of the Florida Small School Hitter of the Year in the spring of 2018 as the then-eighth grader hit .625 and didn’t strike out once while leading Rocky Bayou to its first state-final appearance in any sport.
One long-time observer of Florida softball says of the rising freshman: “She’s a dynamic player who is effective where ever she plays in the field and is always a deep threat at the plate. Sam’s an athlete of the purest kind: she’s fast, strong and is a natural, humble leader who inspires other players with her constant pursuit of excellence and love of the game.”
One of her biggest fans is her travel ball coach, Ted Flannery, who leads the Birmingham Thunderbolts 04 team recently ranked by Extra Inning Softball as the #2 preseason 14U team in the nation.
“I have been coaching in some capacity for 15 years,” the Alabama-based coach begins. “I have coached soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball. I have coached five- years-olds and high school seniors and everything in between, but have never coached an athlete as special as Sam Roe.”