BLANKET — A member of the two-time defending state champion Blanket Lady Tigers golf team, senior Shelby Smith will continue her academic and athletic career at Arlington Baptist, where on Friday she signed a national letter of intent to compete for the cross country team.

“Coach Ty (Tyler Tabor) told me about it and asked me if I was interested in running cross country in the future,” Smith said. “I went up there and met with the cross country coach and she showed me the campus, it was really fun. It's a good school and I'm excited.”

Arlington Baptist is coming off its first season of women's cross country, under the guidance of head coach Hannah McGaughy. The Lady Patriots compete in Division II of The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

Last season Arlington Baptist competed in meets at Dallas Baptist, UT-Arlington, the University of North Texas, East Texas Baptist, Ranger College, Ozark Christian College and College of the Ozarks.

Reflecting on her fondest memories at Blanket, Smith pointed out, “Definitely the bus rides with the team, signing songs on the way there and the way back and being goofy. And going to state.”

Among her athletic goals at Arlington Baptist, where academically she intends to major in education and become a teacher and coach, Smith said, “I want to lower my times and make it nationals.”

At Friday's signing ceremony, Smith thanked her parents, Larry and Stephanie Smith and the Blanket coaching staff. “They've been with me all the way,” she said.