RED OAK – The Red Oak pipeline to Natchitoches, La., just got a little bigger.

For the second time in four years, a Red Oak soccer player is headed to Northwestern State University as senior Destiny LaRue joins Ovilla native Haley Cheshier on the Lady Demon roster. It’s the third female athlete to sign with the school in the last four years as softball standout Tara McKinney signed with the school last season.

“Haley Cheshier, she was a senior when I was a freshman and she also went there. I kind of just went there to their camp to see what was going on and their coaches are awesome, their campus is amazing and it’s like a little college town,” LaRue said. “It’s perfect. That’s really what got me.”

A senior at the high school, LaRue’s story has an interesting twist – she isn’t an active member of the Lady Hawk high school roster. After playing her freshman year and earning all-district honors, LaRue began taking part in club soccer in an effort to garner college attention. Along the way, she tore her ACL twice, limiting her playing and forcing a decision between the two levels.

While she might have been forced to skip out on the high school level, the end result was a college scholarship based on her work ethic and skill set.

“They saw me before I tore my ACL and they saw my recovery, they saw me work hard to get back to where I should be so they know that I’m a hard worker. I guess that’s really what they saw in me,” LaRue said.

LaRue was part of a four-person signing class for the Lady Demons that features two players from the DFW area and two from Ontario. Coach Jimmy Mitchell said the smaller number of recruits made for pressure “to get each and every one of them right.”

Now in his 11th season at the school, Mitchell had nothing but positives to say about LaRue in a press release by the school.

“We have known Destiny for several years as she has been involved in our camps,” Mitchell said. “We’re very comfortable in knowing that she will be a great player and great person in our program.”

Getting the chance to sign with a Division I school was something the senior couldn’t help but smile about. Her path to a coveted top tier scholarship was far from easy.

But in the end, the journey was well worth the struggles.

“It’s awesome honestly. It’s like an awesome feeling to know that everything you’ve worked hard for and the blood sweat and tears literally has finally paid off,” LaRue said. “To be able to go somewhere and not have to pay and just be able to be a part of something bigger is awesome.”

Former student signs with Louisiana Tech

Lauren Stewart spent the last few seasons as a member of the Red Oak girls soccer team but a family move to Palestine, Texas, forced the senior to relocate her talents for her senior season. Still, Stewart’s skills didn’t go unnoticed as the former Lady Hawk earned a scholarship offer from Louisiana Tech.

Stewart, a two-time all-district player for Red Oak during her three years, helped lead the team to two district championships and two regional quarterfinal runs in the playoffs. Last fall, she finished as the team’s leading scorer with 31 points on 17 goals and 14 assists. Her 17 goals were second only to teammate Marisa Perez (19) and her assists were first on the squad.

Contact Alex at alex.riley@wninews.com or at 469-517-1456.