WINTER HAVEN — Today marks the first installment of "Where are they now" presented by the Polk State Athletics Department. Every month, Polk State Athletics will present a release in which we catch up with a former Polk State student-athlete.
Today's feature is with former Polk State softball player Cat Floyd. Floyd played two seasons for Head Coach Jeff Ellis and the Eagles where she was the FCSAA Pitcher of the Year and an All-American.
Currently she is a redshirt junior at Colorado Mesa University.
Here is the interview between Floyd and Polk Sports Information Coordinator Terrell Elliston on Floyd's time as a student-athlete and life after donning the Eagles jersey.
TE: What was it about Polk State that originally stood out to you and made you want to come here?
CF: Probably the biggest thing that lured me here was Coach Ellis. His enthusiasm for me, I just felt conformable. Being from Orlando it was not too far away from home. I enjoyed the town; Polk made me feel right at home.
TE: When you originally started off looking at schools out of high school, what kinds of schools were you looking at?
CF: I was looking at Junior Colleges all around the state and teams we played in our conference (Suncoast Conference). Prior to choosing Polk, I visited two other schools but I decided on Polk because I liked the team and coach. They were really welcoming.
TE: Can you reflect on your personal experience on what it means to be a student-athlete at Polk?
CF: The professors were helpful and understanding. With the amount of time we spent traveling and practicing, we would missed a lot of classes. They did a good job of helping me catch up with the work I missed. I truly appreciated the help and that was very important to me as a student-athlete.
TE: What persuaded you to go to Colorado Mesa University?
CF: They gave me a full scholarship to play softball so that was an opportunity I could not turn down. I really enjoy being here. I like the community, I am close to my family and I like the structure of the softball program.
TE: Do you still stay in touch with many of your former teammates? Plus any of the current members of the team?
CF: I am currently watching Kenshyra Jackson (former teammate and current USF Bull softball player) on television right now. Yes, I do talk to current members of the team. I keep in contact with Molly and Sarah.
TE: I see that you are majoring in Psychology, was that a decision you made prior to Mesa or once you got on campus?
CF: Yes, I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice. This was a decision I made once I got to Mesa. I enjoy Psychology, I plan on working in the jail system with inmates.
TE: Is there a particular game that still stands out to you to this day?
CF: Yes, my first game as a sophomore against Indian River. It was my prove a point game, to show how good I am and what I could do. Most importantly we won the game 1-0.
TE: Was it difficult to transition from JUCO to NCAA?
CF: It was different; academically it was a little challenging. I had to get used to the challenge academically but it's easy once you learn how to do it. Weight training and conditioning has me tired all the time. At five in the morning I was waking up to weights and running outside in the cold. On Wednesday's we worked out in the pool. I am used to it now, I actually gained about 20 pounds of muscle.
TE: Was it difficult to adjust on the move from Florida to Colorado?
CF: Yes, my ball does not move at all because the air is so thin up here. My ball moves a lot more in Florida, I have to really focus on my spin.
TE: What was it like playing under head coach, Jeff Ellis?
CF: I really liked playing for coach. He pushed me in certain ways. Psychologically he knew how to push me. I think it's just a different culture from JUCO, NCAA Division I and II. In my situation I relied on coach and I was very happy with him.
TE: How did you suffer your injury?
CF: It happened during practice early in the season. Coach hit me a ball during a drill and it popped the tip of my index finger on my right hand, split the top part of the bone in half. It was bad. I played in three games prior to this injury.
TE: What is it like for you being a former student-athlete at Polk and going to Mesa University which is in Grand Junction and seeing the baseball team in the NJCAA JUCO World Series?
CF: I am excited that our baseball team is in Grand Junction playing in the World Series. They are playing right across the street from my house. I can walk there, it's pretty cool. I am currently in California but I will try to make it back for a game. I see there were a couple of girls from the softball team that made the trip to Grand Junction.