MADILL — After careers spent hurling fastballs and lacing kicks all over Madill, Gage Goff and Araceli Flores used the same day to form divergent paths.

Goff signed a baseball scholarship with Rose State College in Midwest City while Flores finalized a decision to play soccer for St. Gregory's University in Shawnee in back-to-back ceremonies at the Madill High School gym on Monday.

Goff, who was the top pitcher for the Wildcats baseball team en route to a 6-2 record and 1.97 ERA, expressed his gratitude at the opportunity to play at the next level.

"It means everything," Goff said. "I was worried for a while that I wouldn't be able to get a chance to go on and do what I love.
"But now I have that chance, which is great."

Goff came to the attention of the Rose State staff during a workout last Tuesday, when he threw a bullpen for the assistant coaches.
"They said they liked what they saw from me and that was that," Goff said.

As for what the Raiders will be getting, Madill coach Randy Rushing said Goff, an All-Ardmoreite Super Team selection as a junior, is that rare combination of talent and work ethic that can be successful in college.

"He's been a cornerstone for this program," Rushing said. "He's one of those guys who picked the team up every time we needed it."

As for Flores, who was a versatile and skilled player for the Lady Wildcats on the soccer field, her decision to attend St. Gregory's was based both on sport and a desire to attend a school of Catholic makeup.

"My family wanted me to go to a school within our religion," Flores said. "The coach is really nice and we're going to do really good this year.

"I'm really glad I get to go play because I love soccer. To have this opportunity is a big deal for both me and my family."

During her career, Flores played a variety of positions from center midfielder to forward, the last of which will be where she plays at St. Gregory's. A 2013 All-State selection, Flores scored a school-record 17 goals in her final season.

According to coach Jose Cortes, it is that versatility that is one of Flores' strongest assets.

"She's already a good player, but she listens and is willing to learn a new position to help the team," Cortes said. "Her willingness to do that, to be versatile, is one of the best things about her and is really amazing."

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