In her four years of athletics at East Union High, senior Jillian Goulart had little difficulty shinning on a softball field or on a golf course. Now the graduating Lancer will narrow her responsibilities to just one sport, as she signed a letter of intent to play softball for the Simpson University Red Hawks in Redding.
Goulart will join a Simpson program that competes at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level in the California Pacific Conference. The Red Hawks recently qualified for the NAIA National Tournament in Gulf Shores, Ala., giving Goulart a quality home to try and add her skills to.
“I’m just wanting to take down there exactly what he recruited me for,” Goulart said of Simpson head coach Wayne Stower. “Last year they recorded three four-hitters and they didn’t have any speed, so that is what I want to contribute.
“I’m hoping to step in as a freshman and make an impact right away.”
Goulart’s transition will be assisted by Simpson committing an athletic scholarship to the outfielder. Goulart also helped her cause with her academia exploits, earning over $4,000 in other scholarships and awards.
“That was always my main goal my entire time was to get that college softball or golf scholarship,” Goulart said. “I always knew that it would come through softball because I’ve always had more passion for it.
“I always looked up to the other girls to see what they had to do to get scholarships.”
Goulart finished a decorated athletic career at East Union with a spot on the All-Valley Oak League first team, but more impressively, Goulart was able to keep an impressive grade point average above a 4.0, signifying the importance of the student aspect of being a student-athlete.
“Academics always came before the sports for me,” Goulart admitted. “I would miss practices to stay and study, and usually not go to bed until after midnight from studying. Even if I had a game the next day I would, because I knew that’s what I needed to do first.
“Especially for college, because they won’t even give you money unless you have the grades.”
Now Goulart is just waiting patiently for her next opportunity to prove herself capable, finishing all the final preparations for the next four year journey in life.
“I’m definitely continuing to train now and getting in there and lifting weights,” Goulart said. “I’ll play on my USA elite gold softball team all around the country and just continue to try and get better.
“I know that at the collegiate level pitching is not going to be the same as it was here, but I’m ready for it and I’m excited.”