WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) – It seemed like it was yesterday when the world cheered for Sarah Fuller, who played for the women’s soccer team at Vanderbilt University; and came on as a placekicker for the football program.
Now, history is being marked at Shenandoah University, as Haley Van Voorhis, a high school senior at Christchurch High School, in Fauquier County, Virginia; joins the Hornet’s football program as a wide receiver, & defensive back. This would make her the first woman in NCAA College Football history to join a program, not signed in a special teams position.
Head Coach Scott Yoder had high praise for Haley, and her game, as the Hornet’s coach spoke about the process to recruit her for the program.
“I think the biggest thing that we evaluated was the athlete.” said Head Coach Scott Yoder, “She gets in and out of her breaks well, and that’s kind of what jumped out at us, and started the process. And then we started talking about evaluating film, and talking to her coaches, cause that is a huge part of it.”
“Her athleticism stood out, and when you meet her, and talk to her, she is a hard worker, she’s in the weight room. She is a put together young athlete. You can tell in two minutes, she is not shy in the weight room, and talking with her high school Head Coach, which we have a good relationship with, and he just said ‘She was great.'” Coach Yoder continued.
Coach Yoder did open up, admitting this was unique territory for him, and his staff; but his compass points him back to his program’s mission to be able to facilitate an opportunity for Haley to play at the highest level she can as an athlete, and doing what is best for his program as well.
“We didn’t make this decision because we wanted to have interviews, and extra attention to our program.” said Scott Yoder, “It was, we think this young person can help our program. And that we think that, we can help her. And that’s it, and that is as simple as it gets. When you look at shenandoah and what has happened here in the last 10-20 years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a part of it with eight. We’ve got great leadership, forward thinking leadership, they’ve navigated the pandemic, we’ve grown as an institution, I think this is really cool, and I’m excited about. But it’s cool because she’s earned it.”
Watch the full interview with Head Coach Scott Yoder below: