McPherson High softball standout Chelsey Kerr admits she had other offers, but in the end it was all about family.
Kerr on Friday signed a softball letter of intent with Lincoln University of Missouri, where her father, Chad, is in his first year as head coach.
“It was tough. I had offers from other schools, but I think my heart was still set on playing for my Dad,” said Kerr, who has been a three-year star for the Bullpups and is expected to rank among the Top 10 players in Class 4A Division I this season. “I want to help out his program.”
She said signing now allows her to enjoy her final year with the Bullpups, who two years ago advanced to the state championship game before losing to Augusta.
“It’s a huge relief,” she said. “I can have fun this season. I’ve had fun all my seasons, but this year I can go out and help the team so much more because I know where I’m going to college. I want to go back to state, that’s our main goal. I want to help my team get back there.”
Kerr, who is a shortstop by trade, hit .434 last season with three homers, five doubles, two triples and 18 RBIs. She is a tremendous fielder, as she has great range and a cannon for an arm. In fact, her father says next year she could do some catching as with Chelsey’s talent, she can play just about anywhere.
Chad Kerr, who had a coaching stint at Central Christian College and spent last year at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, is basically starting from scratch with this year’s Lincoln team, with Chelsey’s sister and former Bullpup teammate Kiley among his new players. Lincoln was just 3-49 last year, but had a .500 record in the fall. While this could be a long spring though with a 56-game schedule, Kerr has seven commits for next year, all of whom have All-State credentials in Kansas and Missouri.
“With Chelsey, she’s an exceptional softball player, but more importantly she’s an exceptional young lady and that’s what I look for in recruiting,” he said. “She’s worked really hard and I’m proud of her. I’m really thrilled with this recruiting class. It’s a Who’s Who of All-State kids.”
Kerr said he has a quality freshman shortstop on his team this year, but he’ll be able to find a place for Chelsey because of her versatility.
“Chelsey will compete for shortstop, but I could see her playing second and catching for us,” he said.
The Bullpups lost some key players off last year’s team, but Kerr should keep them stay in the state contender talk.
“Chelsey is a quality softball player,” MHS coach Danica Fitzmorris said. “She has a big bat with an exceptional swing. At shortstop she covers a lot of ground.”
Kerr will major in elementary education.