Josie Yarbrough signs with Marian Tennis

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper senior Josie Yarbrough (left) inks her letter of intent to continue her tennis career Tuesday morning inside the facility that bears her grandfather’s name — the Ed Yarbrough Indoor Tennis Center. Looking on, from left, are mother Heather, eighth grade sister Kate and father and Jasper tennis coach Scott Yarbrough.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

JASPER — Marian University boasts a Women’s Tennis program that produces winning seasons year in and year out, and the Knights want Josie Yarbrough to continue that tradition.

The Jasper senior inked her letter of intent Tuesday morning at the Ed Yarbrough Indoor Tennis Center to continue her career with the NAIA program. Winning is something that Josie knows a lot about, since she was part of two girls tennis sectional championships her first two years in high school. Her sophomore year saw her make it to the individual state semifinals with partner Suchi Bandaru.

She debated if she was going to continue her tennis career at the next level, but is thrilled at the opportunity to help the Knights out.

“I am just really excited to play for Marian next year,” Josie said. “I’m really happy that all of my family and friends could’ve watched me sign, and that they’re supporting me in my decision to play college tennis. So, I’m just really excited and happy in this moment.”

Josie will major in communications at Marian, and knew she wanted to play there after how welcoming coach Tyler Scanlan and the players were to her. This signing was originally scheduled for Feb. 15, but was postponed due to the weather.

Scanlan told the Herald on Tuesday that Josie’s past tournament results was one of the things that enticed him to give her the opportunity.

“I think she’ll definitely be able to jump in and make a huge impact for us on the doubles side,” Scanlan said. “She has a lot of doubles experience and a lot of my players are usually singles players first and then I have to teach them doubles. So, she’ll come in with the doubles knowledge already. So, that is a huge key in college tennis as it’s one point.”

Josie has played tennis at a competitive level since she was eight years old, and when it comes to the sport, she has also given back to the community.

“She’s always willing to hit with some younger kids,” Father and Jasper tennis coach Scott Yarbrough said. “She’s got some fifth and sixth grade kids that she works with. She hits with kids on the team. She’ll come out and help me with the boys team. She’s always been willing to go above and beyond just being a high school tennis player.”

Scott knows how bummed Josie was that she didn’t get to have a junior season last year since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down spring sports.

However, he knows his girls team is very excited to get back out on the court, and he hopes his daughter will get to have a senior year.

He noted that Josie is the most experienced returning player that they have, and will likely insert her into the one singles spot in 2021.

“We will run challenges, and she will have to earn that spot like everybody else does,” he said. “She doesn’t get a special treatment just because her last name is the same as mine, but I look for her to play the one spot, hopefully, and she’ll do a great job representing our program doing that. So, we’re looking forward to this season.”

“I think that we are pretty determined to go to state this year, and I think wherever (Scott) thinks I need to be in order to get to state is where I’ll play,” Josie said. “I am a team player, and I think that wherever he puts me, I will work hard, and I will do my job to get the team there.”




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