The Monroe City R-1 High School Lobby was filled with the support of family, friends, teachers and coaches on November 13, as Senior Lauren Youngblood signed her letter of intent with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Youngblood received an athletic scholarship to play softball at the collegiate level for IUPUI. As Lauren signed her letter of intent, her parents watched with smiling faces of their daughter’s accomplishment. Lauren shared about the day, stating, “I was so happy and thankful to see everyone there. It felt great to see all my support.”
Lauren explained she learned about IUPUI when the college reached out to her. Not ever visiting Indianapolis before, Lauren stated, “We visited the college and I fell in love with the campus and coaches. I am really looking forward to getting to experience the city.” Moving forward, she is really looking forward to meeting her new teammates, stating, “This may sound crazy, but I am excited for all the new workouts. I want to see how they push us to increase our abilities.” As excited as Lauren may be, she also shared being hesitant about being far away from her hometown, saying, “I don’t know what to expect at the college level, I know there will be times I will really miss my family.”
Lauren is the daughter of Steve and Dawn Youngblood, and is the oldest child, having two younger sisters, Carly and Audri Youngblood. Lauren plans to attend IUPUI and pursue a degree in biology, with her ultimate goal of becoming a pharmacist. Lauren stated, “I was inspired by my Mom to choose this career path. She is a pharmacist and it sounds like something I would like to do.” Lauren is looking forward to the Christmas break this year at school, explaining, “I will be job shadowing at Hannibal Regional Hospital with my Mom.”
Lauren started playing softball on a traveling team when she was nine years old and has participated in the sport ever since.
As a Lady Panther, she played middle infield covering second base and short stop. Lauren has received All-State honors during both her Junior and Senior year, along with being awarded All Conference and All District titles. Monroe City Head Softball Coach Melissa Chinn stated, “I am so proud of Lauren. She has worked so hard to get where she is now. She is going to be very successful in whatever she does because she has the mindset to be great.”
During high school, Lauren has participated in basketball, track, and has been a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Lauren mentioned one of her fond softball memories, recalling she has many, stating, “One of my favorites is the experience of Coach Baker’s ‘Tour Days’, we had to be on top of our game on those days or Coach Baker would tell us to take a tour, and the player would have to run around the entire field. Coach Baker had lots of funny sayings.”