Pitcher stars at state titles to earn crack at nationals
BROOKWATER sportsman Jarrod Russell dreams of the day he will represent his country on the world stage.
For the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Springfield student, that goal is in reach after a stellar performance at the Softball Queensland Under 19 Men's State Championship in Hervey Bay recently.
Russell pitched three games for Toowoomba, which finished third, and excelled with the bat and at first base to be named in the 16-man Queensland team to play at the national titles in Sydney next year.
"I was so honoured to be named in the team and grateful for the opportunity to represent Queensland at a national tournament," he said.
"I felt I played one of my best tournaments in years and I was very proud of myself.
"It has given me more confidence in my pitching, batting and the belief I can play anywhere on the field."
Next year's national championship promises to be highly contested with players competing for spots in the Australian under 19 men's team.
"It's definitely going to be my biggest test since I last went to nationals as part of the South Australian team," he said.
When he's not completing an assignment or preparing for an exam, Russell devotes most his time training at the USQ Springfield mini oval.
However, he knows that's what is required to achieve his ultimate goal.
"My main goal was to make the Queensland side, but I'm now focused on making the Aussie Colts team which will be announced prior to the 2016 World Championship," he said.
Russell has had little time to soak up his state selection as he turns his attention back to study.
The aspiring teacher is currently participating in the Tertiary Preparation Program at USQ Springfield where he hopes to enrol in a Bachelor of Education next year.
"Making this Queensland side has motivated me to continue working hard throughout my studies and made me realise that if I put the same amount of effort into my studies then I can perform just as well," he said.