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Lady Chief now Raider

By By Matthew Nascone
Deciding on which college to attend is one of the many pressures weighing many high school seniors down after graduation. Stephanie Covan had a different kind of pressure. She had to decide which school to play softball at.
Covan, one of five graduated seniors from the 2006 Northview softball team, made the decision July 25 to become a Raider after careful evaluation of Okaloosa and Faulkner State Community College.
But Covan said she made the right choice.
"I liked the community and I liked the area around the school," Covan said. "And of course it is a good school and the student comes before the athlete."
Okaloosa is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and located in Niceville, Fla. Stephanie's mother, Clara Covan, said the school's location played a part in the decision process.
"The school is only an hour and a half away, so that is far enough away for her to be independent, but I can also be there quickly if she needs me," Clara said. "And I am excited for her because she has worked so hard to get to this point."
Covan signed a scholarship with Okaloosa-Walton and that will cover all aspects of her collegiate experience besides her living expenses when she arrives in Niceville, but Clara said Stephanie received a scholarship through the Florida Lottery-funded Bright Futures Scholarship as well.
"She got the scholarship through the school to cover her tuition and books and we are going to use the Bright Futures Scholarship for housing," she said.
Okaloosa head softball coach Heather Wolbers made the trip from Niceville and said she can't wait to get Stephanie on the field.
"She will definitely be a good sign for our outfield and at the plate," Wolbers said. "She will have the possibility to start if she works hard. She is also a good student and that is one thing we stress to our girls."
It is often said that patience is a virtue and Covan said that is what she will miss most about her former coach.
"I am going to miss coach (Sammy) Day," she said. "He was a very good coach and he was very, very patient with all us girls."
But coach Day, the NHS athletic director, said it was a joy to have Covan and all the other girls on the team.
"We will miss Stephanie," Day said. "She could play any position besides pitcher or catcher and she had a good bat. She was a mainstay on our team and I know she will do great at the next level. She has a good bat, good glove and she when she adjusts to the pitching at the college level she will do great."
NHS principal Gayle Weaver was also present at the signing, as she is at every athletic signing in the halls at Northview. She had only good things to say about Covan.
"This is great and very well deserved," Weaver said. "The (Okaloosa) program will benefit from having Stephanie. She is energetic, spirited and she knows how to rally her team."