Western Nebraska Community College

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Hancock is Pitching in

Andy Hancock is awarded female athlete of the week ending March. 27.

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Andy Hancock, pitcher of the softball team, has been awarded female athlete of the week for the week ending March. 27.

Hancock is a 20-year-old sophomore from Ogden, Utah. She had a big week both in the circle and at the plate. Her biggest game was tossing a complete game, seven-inning, no-hitter where she only allowed two walks in an 11-0 win over Southeast. She also struck out 11 in the no-hitter and faced just 23 batters. Andy also had a big hitting game in a second game against Southeast as the right-hander went 4-for-4 with a double, home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. For the week, she went 5-of-6 in two games where she batted when she wasn’t pitching.

The leap from high school to college can sometimes be challenging, not only with the work load, but also adapting to new environments and people. Andy talks about the differences between Scottsbluff and her home town.

“Scottsbluff is different than home because I live at the base of the mountain and the wind hardly ever blows. My hometown is a little bigger than Scottsbluff and I live a lot closer to a major city,” Hancock said.

However different the towns may be, Hancock has adapted well and has loved her time spent at WNCC.

“I have really enjoyed my experience at WNCC. It has definitely been a place that has made a huge impact on my life,” Andy said.

Andy’s education is very important to her, as she has high hopes for her future career.

“Right now my major is Bachelor of Arts and I want to be a Special Education teacher when I grow up,” she said.

Athletes often start playing their sport due to family members and close friends being involved with the sport. They then grow to love the sport and fully commit to it. Andy is no different.

“I have 3 older sisters who played softball and my oldest sister is 8 years older so when I was born my family was already spending our summers at the ball park watching her play. I grew up watching my older sisters so I wanted to be just like them. My mom also encouraged all of us to play softball and was our best coach and number 1 fan. I have been surrounded by the sport my whole life pretty much. I was probably 7 or 8 when I started playing actual, organized games of softball,” Hancock said.

Successful teams are built not only from talent but also hard work, dedication and great team chemistry. Hancock believes that the Cougars have this and she looks forward to the rest of the season with them.

“Team 12 is a team full of a lot of different personalities that all offer something different to the team. We have done a lot of good things so far this season, but we still have a long way to go. I think that we have a lot of potential and if we keep working hard together as a team we will be successful,” she said.

Every athlete has their favorite aspect of practice, whether that is a drill or just something they like to do on their own. It’s the something that keeps them going through the session. Andy talks about what she loves to do at practice.

“My favorite thing at practice is when we have competitions against each other to see who gets out of field work for the day,” Hancock said.

Fans can regularly see athletes completing certain rituals prior to each competition. Hancock completes hers with a member of the coaching staff.

“Coach Jack Massey and I have a pre-game ritual we do together before every game that I pitch and it always helps me throw better,” she said.

With high schools offering 3 sports seasons throughout the year, athletes have the choice to participate in more than just their one chosen sport if they wish. This allows them to stay fit in the off-season. Hancock took advantage of this.

“I played volleyball for 3 years in high school as well. I was the setter and I have a lot of fun memories from playing volleyball,” Andy said.

Being a part of college athletics can be one of the highest yet one of the lowest times in one’s career.

“The most challenging part about being a college athlete is definitely the grind you put your body through mentally and physically. No one tells you how hard that it’s going to be when you sign to be a college athlete, but they also don’t tell you how rewarding it is at the same time,” Hancock said.

Because athletes have to put their bodies under such extremes to be able to perform at the highest level, they are often no strangers to injuries. Hancock suffered an injury during her junior year of high school that set her back a little. But, she has come back stronger than ever since.

“At the end of my junior year during one of the last games of the softball season I tore my hamstring, but I played 4 more games on it so that wasn’t a good idea. I had to sit out almost the whole summer after that and had to ease my way back into playing,” Andy said.

Motivation can sometimes be hard to find, when the stress of sport and school is high. But those that dig deep can find motivation from role models in their life. Hancock looks up to several people when it comes to softball, some of which are current coaches and fellow team mates. Outside of softball her family and friends are huge influences on her.

One can also find motivation from sayings or quotes. Hancock has a saying that she likes to stick to.

“A saying I try to live my life by would be ‘The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.’ -Marjorie Pay Hinckley,” Hancock said.

“One of my biggest role models in softball would be Amanda Scarborough, Coach Winn, and Jordan Smith. One of my biggest role models outside of softball would be my family, mainly my parents, Tobin Niebrugge, Cherrie Smith and her daughter Shayla,” she said.

Now Hancock has nearly 2 years of the college-athlete life under her belt, she has some advice to offer to those considering becoming one.

“My advice for anyone aspiring to be a college athlete is to never let anyone tell you that you won’t be able to do it. If it is your dream to play in college, then pursue that dream. Work hard and be humble,” Andy said.

When sport and school can seem like 2 full-time jobs at times, it can be important to take time to one’s self. Besides Harry Potter, Hancock has a few things that she likes to keep herself busy with.

“Other hobbies that I have would be hiking in the mountains back home, playing with my cute nephew, fishing with my dad, sewing, singing, being with friends, and watching Netflix,” she said.

In fact Andy was actually a part of a singing group for 13 years.

Nutrition is a key aspect of anyone’s life, but for an athlete it is imperative to receive the right amount and quality of food. Hancock talks about her ideal meal.

“The perfect meal for me is one that I don’t have to cook and one that satisfies whatever craving I am having at the moment. It depends on my mood,” Andy said

No one tells you how hard that it’s going to be when you sign to be a college athlete, but they also don’t tell you how rewarding it is at the same time!”

— Andy Hancock

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Hancock is Pitching in