JONESVILLE — Another rookie athlete in the Jonesville Comets women’s basketball program is looking to continue her athletic and academic career at the college level.
The class of 2022 senior Natalie Doyle committed to Olivet College this spring. Doyle is looking to play for the Olivet Comets women’s basketball program. Doyle made the decision to play for Olivet after carefully considering several potential colleges.
Doyle continues his basketball journey that began in elementary school, playing for Hillsdale’s summer travel teams. “I started playing as a third year for the Hillsdale travel team and continued from there,” Doyle said.
Doyle spent many summers while in Jonesville playing travel basketball. The Doyles had a practice gym where Natalie spent time developing her game. The atmosphere of summer tournaments and competition helped her pursue her athletic career after graduation. During these tournaments, she continued to develop her confidence in the game and became a team leader early in her high school career.
“Watching her transition from Hillsdale recreational leagues to college basketball and seeing her continue to gain confidence through all these years was special,” said Joe Doyle, Natalie’s father.
Doyle spent seasons playing for the Jackson Jets travel ball league. While there, she got to play with several other college prospects who helped fuel that interest in a college basketball career.
These tournaments were attended by college scouts and, in addition to Doyle’s recruiting page on the NCSA website, helped start the recruiting process during his high school career. Olivet College plays in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and Natalie has been recruited by several other schools in the conference, including Adrian and Albion.
Doyle said small class sizes and new sports facilities were one of many factors in his choice to play for Olivet. “It felt like home,” Doyle said. In addition to campus, Doyle’s family played a major role in her decision to play closer to home. “Olivet was closer to home and further away,” Doyle said. Natalie wants to share her college basketball experience with her family, and the games’ proximity to her family’s hometown will help them stay connected through the process.
Doyle will be able to play with several former opponents from his high school career. Familiarity with his new teammates also factored into his decision to join the Comets. Natalie will participate in the university program during her first year. Doyle reports to campus in early August and has already started training with his new team at open gyms over the summer.
Doyle will be the first athlete in her immediate family to compete in collegiate sports; however, his cousins – Justin and Brett Daily – ran for Hillsdale College.
Doyle hopes to be as successful on the field as he is in the classroom. She plans to major in environmental science in hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher. Doyle said his career choice was influenced by his interactions with his four nieces. She also spent the last term of her senior year in a work-based learning program at Jonesville Elementary School.
“I had a lot of fun helping and teaching these kids and watching them learn,” Doyle said.
Doyle earned several accolades while attending Jonesville High School, both on the field and in the classroom. Doyle was an honor roll member for four years and a letter holder for three years. During his time with the Jonesville basketball program, Doyle received honorable honors from all conferences and was a member of the Hillsdale Daily News All-Area Dream Team.
During her time with the Comets, she helped the freshman JV team win the Big 8 conference women’s basketball title. While in college, she helped lead the Comets to titles. back-to-back Big 8 streaks in 2021 and 2022. Doyle was a center for the Comets, and “She scored on all the bigs during her time in Jonesville,” Joe Doyle said. , Natalie’s father.
Doyle brings her aggressive style of play to Jonesville women’s basketball head coach Tom Dunn. Natalie said Coach Dunn’s college-style training helped her be better prepared for her transition to college basketball.
One of Natalie’s favorite memories with the Jonesville women’s basketball program was their annual summer camp in Manistee, Michigan. The team was competing in basketball tournaments and developing team bonds ahead of the next school year.
Tom Dunn coached Natalie for most of her high school career. Dunn watched Natalie become the team leader who helped the Comets win back-to-back Big 8 titles.
“Natalie was a big part of our team last year,” Dunn said. “She was a post presence that the other teams had to keep an eye on. Nat was a very coachable kid and a joy to have on our team for the past 3 seasons. She will fit right into Olivet and should be able to see for a few minutes right away.
In addition to her role on the Comet basketball team, Natalie has played various sports for Jonesville. One of his favorite sports, and one of his greatest successes, was athletics. Natalie began her journey as a pitcher and runner for the Comet track team. However, during her junior season, she made the full-time transition to a pitcher for Jonesville. During her junior season, she qualified for the national D3 girls’ track finals in the shot put. She missed state qualifying by just half an inch her senior year.
Natalie finished as Hillsdale County’s top pitcher in her senior year, finishing first in the Hillsdale area’s top ranking. Doyle finished second in her junior year, just behind teammate Allison Sanders. Doyle earned honorable mention all-conference honors for athletics this year and won conference honors in his freshman year. She finished 19th overall in her junior year at the state finals.
Doyle thanked all of his coaches at Jonesville. “I want to thank them all – including Coach Stanton – for helping me do my best,” Doyle said. Doyle thanked his siblings; her parents Joe Doyle (father), Amy Doyle (stepmother) and Christina White (mother) and her teammates for helping her along her journey.
Natalie will move on to a new role for the Olivet Comets. Natalie will transition to a perimeter role for Olivet, moving from her role as a Jonesville center. Natalie’s parents said they were thrilled to see Natalie step into this new role at college. “We are all very happy that she is moving to Olivet,” said Joe Doyle. Joe Doyle said the coaches will help him work on his skills which will help Natalie transition into her new role.
Natalie’s parents were thrilled to have the opportunity to continue watching her play basketball for a few more seasons; the sport she had grown to love throughout her middle and high school years:
“To see her continue to improve every weekend, grow and love the game as much as she did was amazing,” said Christina White, Natalie’s mother. “Olivet’s size isn’t much bigger than Jonesville. It’s a beautiful campus and a tight-knit community. They have a hall where all the basketball players study, and I’m not worried about it. academically, because she will get the help she needs if she wants it.
“Any time you watch your child compete in academics and athletics is a proud moment as a parent,” said Amy Doyle, Natalie’s mother-in-law. “As a parent, I am extremely proud of her and being a part of this has been wonderful and a great bonding time for our family. We are thrilled to continue this journey and see her take the next step.
Olivet College is a private Christian college located in Olivet, Michigan. Olivet College is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Olivet offers over 30 academic programs and a Master of Business Administration in Insurance. The Olivet College Comets compete in NCAA Division III and are aligned with the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Comet women’s basketball team is led by head coach Peter Sabiiti.