York senior inks letter of intent to suit up for the Ladyjacks
By Christian Horn
YORK – Ever since she was a young girl, Rebecca Libich knew she wanted to work with animals.
“I love them. I have a ton of pets at home,” she said. “This year I shadowed at the York vet clinic for my college biology class and it just solidified that I really want to work with animals and in that environment because I thought it was awesome being there.”
When the York senior began looking at colleges, having a good program for veterinary science was atop the list of important factors. Libich applied to places like Northwest Missouri State, Concordia, South Dakota State and the University of Sioux Falls.
She also considered Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa, because she’d met the school’s head softball coach, Casey-May Huff, at a recruiting event.
Huff reached out to Libich again after she resigned from SWCC and took over as the head coach at Dakota College at Bottineau in Bottineau, North Dakota, a town of about 2,000 located just over 10 miles south of the Canadian border. The two stayed in contact, and Libich went up for a tour in December, liked what she saw and decided to commit.
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On Tuesday afternoon, she officially signed her letter of intent to suit up and continue her softball career for the Ladyjacks.
“She’s been a wonderful student, she’s a heck of a ballplayer and she listens to everything that any of us ever told her to do,” York head coach Kent Meyers said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
The biggest factor in Libich’s decision was the school’s vet science program, but she also walked away from her December visit very impressed.
“Their campus was really small, which is what I prefer,” she said. “I don’t want to go to a huge school. It was really pretty even though it was the middle of December with snow everywhere, but I have an option I can work in the greenhouse. They have all sorts of stuff going on, and I got to spend the weekend with the girls, which was cool. I got to know future teammates, which I thought was neat.”
Libich will head to Bottineau after a solid prep career for the Dukes. She earned both York News-Times all area-honors and a first-team all-Central Conference selection after a senior season in which she hit .458 (fourth among area leaders) with 25 RBIs, seven home runs, four doubles, a triple and 21 runs scored despite missing two weeks early in the season with an injury.
“She’s very great with the bat,” Meyers said. “She’s just an all-around natural hitter, and her glove at third base will be a huge asset.”
Libich said coaches have spoken with her about playing at either first or third base because the Ladyjacks are primarily losing infielders.
“As it is only a two-year school, they unfortunately go through a lot of girls quickly because you’re only there for two years,” she said. “They’re losing what sounds like their primary third baseman and first baseman, which are both positions I play, so I’ll be somewhere in the infield.”
No matter what Libich’s role is once she arrives in Bottineau, she’s fully prepared to be the best teammate she can be.
“Even if I’m not going to be playing on the field, I’m still going to support from the bench, make sure they have what they need and get done what they need to get done,” she said. “If they have a pitcher that needs to warm up in the middle of the game, I’ll fully help with that because I used to be a catcher. I’m just really happy I got this opportunity to go play even though it’s 11 and a half hours away.”