It’s safe to say, Allison Bruff has tried a little bit of everything sports-wise.
A four-sport letter winner at Union City High School, Bruff recently completed her second year at Rhodes College in Memphis where she added lacrosse to her athletic resume.
The daughter of Tracy and Jennifer Bruff and granddaughter of Patsy and Johnny Bruff, Allison has been able to balance her dedication to academics with her love for sports at Rhodes much as she did at UCHS.
She graduated as Vale-dictorian of her 2010 class at Union City High School and earned athletic letters in softball, golf, cross country and track.
After her freshman year at Rhodes, during which she was a member of the Lady Lynx NCAA Division 3 cross country team, she elected to further her extracurricular interests by trying out for the Lady Lynx lacrosse squad when the time requirements of the cross country squad she deemed too great to pursue her academic and athletic interests.
Although a novice at lacrosse, she earned a spot on the team. Rhodes women’s lacrosse is a club level sport, which makes it much less stressful and demanding, but still offers team camaraderie and competition for its players.
It proved to be a perfect fit for Bruff.
Familiar with the sport and a fan of watching it on television, Allison was first introduced to playing lacrosse while attending a sports camp during middle school at the Baylor School in Chattanooga.
From her instruction and experiences with the sport at camp, she was hooked — but never had an opportunity to play on a team.
Bruff is convinced both her athletics experience in high school and her experience running cross country have prepared her well for playing lacrosse, particularly with the level of endurance that is demanded by the sport. She attributes her ability to throw and catch the ball with the lacrosse stick to her hand-eye coordination developed through softball.
“My alma mater (UCHS) prepared me in ways that I never thought possible — academically, athletically and developing a sense of integrity that I carry with me,” she said. “The administration and faculty made it not only possible, but they made it their priority to instill a sense of motivation and ambition in all of us.”
This year Rhodes competed with the two-time defending state champion Hutchison Lacrosse team, the University of Southern Mississippi and Vanderbilt University.
The Lady Lynx claimed their only victory against Southern Miss, in which Bruff was credited with one goal and two assists while playing the midfield/offensive wing position.
The lacrosse team is coached by Megan Spangler (assistant field hockey coach as well) and has existed for only three years on the Rhodes College campus. Currently, Spangler and her players — including Bruff — are coordinating with Rhodes Athletic Director Mike Clary to prepare the team for the proposed transition to varsity-NCAA level in 2014.
The advancement will be contingent upon the continuous training of the team itself as well as an increased focus on recruiting.
“One thing that im-pressed me when first visiting the Rhodes College campus was the obvious interest that the coaches and admissions counselors showed in me and my goals,” Bruff concluded. “They told me that I could do it all if I wanted to and had the determination — academics, sorority, extra-curricular activities and sports.
“It’s all about balance and what the student wants to make out of his/her college experience that so appealed me to Rhodes.”
Published in The Messenger 5.24.12