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Compton boosting Berryville’s presence at Northark

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BERRYVILLE — Now there are three.

North Arkansas College’s Lady Pioneers have added another Berryville player to its roster. On Tuesday Lilli Compton signed a national letter-of-intent to play basketball for the Lady Pioneers.

Compton will join former Berryville products Baylea Smith and Kelcee Hopper. The trio led the Lady Bobcats to the finals of the Class 4A State Basketball Tournament in 2019.

Smith and Hopper have been granted another year of eligibility because of the COVID-19 rule in college athletics. Any athlete that participated in sports this season in college, have been granted another year of eligibility.

Northark was an easy selection for Compton.

“I chose Northark because I think they provide the best academic and athletic program,” said Compton. “I already have chemistry with some of the girls, and I get to stay close to home.”

In high school Compton played point guard. She expects to play the same at Northark.

Moving her game to the next level will take work on her part.

“I really need to work on my fundamentals and really get back in the basics,” she started. “I also would really like to improve my shooting to the best of my abilities.”

She went on to say, “I am ready to play at the next level, but I’m going to miss high school.”

Compton plans to be use her time in college to major in education.

“I would like to be a coach for basketball or volleyball,” she said. “Any level would be great.”

While Compton plans to be a teacher, she has learned from the sport that she has chosen to play in college.

“It’s taught me how to be a teammate and really work together,” she said.

She is enthralled by the sport and the perks that she gets from playing.

“I love how competitive the sport is,” she said. “I love how everyone has to work together to be successful.”

Compton represents Berryville in more that basketball. She also plays volleyball and soccer. She has been named All-Conference in all three sports.

Leaving Berryville will be hard for Compton.

“I will miss the friendships I have made over the years,” she started. “I will miss being in the Berryville Bobcat athletic programs.”

Compton, who is the daughter of Ryan Compton and Amanda Rushing, is the big sister to Kort Rushing and Chase Rushing.

Getting to the point where Compton is in her career took a lot of work and support.

“I would like to thank Coach (Daniel Cornelison) Corn and Coach (Aaron) Hall for all they have done over the years for me,” she said. “They have helped me become a better player and person.”

Compton also would like to recognize her family.

“I would also like to thank my parents and grandmothers,” she said. “They never miss a game and always cheer me on and encourage me even after a rough game.”

With two Lady Bobcats in the lineup at Northark, the Lady Pioneers have been ranked in the Top 20 both seasons. Who knows what will happen with three.

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