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Sour grapes? Just the opposite for this CK senior
Listening to Kendall Sours, Central Kitsaps all-league shortstop, describe her new collegiate destination can be a little confusing.
Its a lot like Washington but its not green, Sours said. Theres a lot of hills and trees. The school itself isnt as big as (Washington State University), but its bigger than Central (Washington University) or Western (Washington University).
But give it time. When Sours graduates from CK this spring, shell have plenty of time to learn all about New Britain, Conn., after signing her letter of intent to continue her softball career for Central Connecticut State University.
Yeah, Im a little nervous but mostly excited, a smiling Sours said before a large gathering of friends, family, coaches and teachers in a meeting room at the CKHS library Thursday.
But mostly, shes relieved.
It was not fun, Sours said of the recruiting process. As soon as I was done, I just got in my address book and just started hitting delete.
But making the decision even easier was the offer CCSU made Sours, an offer that included both academic and athletic scholarships.
Its interesting, Kendalls dad David Sours said. The colleges that want to come see you, some have athletic money and not academic money and some have academic money and not athletic money. Central Connecticut was one that did both parts of it. Theyre rewarding her for both aspects.
Sours, a senior at CK, has been an integral part of the Cougars softball success, with coach Bruce Welling putting her right up with Jessica Brown, CKs standout shortstop who also went on to play collegiate ball in the early 1990s.
Kendall is in the top two shortstops Ive ever had, Welling said. Both had similar attributes.
But what Welling said really makes Sours signing special is what shes meant to the team and school.
One of our players. Not mine, its ours, Welling said. The whole teams, the schools. She put a lot of time into this. (The team is) very, very happy for her. Kendall has been a very big part of our program. They look up to her, they listen to her, try to emulate her.
Interested in studying journalism once she gets to CCSU, Sours said there were other incentives unique to New Britian.
I was very impressed with their student-athlete center and the help you get there, Sours said. And Im kind of interested in being a journalist and ESPN is right there.
As for the center, Sours said the BlueDevils make it hard not to be successful in the classroom and on the field.
They have a lot of support for student-athletes, She said. Im pretty sure Id have to work a lot harder to fail than to pass.
Regardless of what Sours ultimately decides to pursue, Welling has no doubt shell be as successful in college as she has been as the stop gap of CKs diamond.
Theres always going to be a learning curve, but getting athletic and academic scholarships, Welling said. Shes an intelligent hard worker. Shell be able to figure out the softball aspect no problem.
Facing off against some of the nations top competition is a prospect that has Sours salivating as a hitter.
Im excited to get better, she said. Im excited to see the growth from there. To face the pitchers. Its gonna be a lot easier to just focus on the ball.
She got the chance early too, as Welling said shes already penciled in as Central Connecticut States starter at the shortstop spot next season.
Having been a life-long resident of the Northwest, Sours said shes excited to see a new region of America.
Ive lived here all my life, she said. I want to see other parts of the country. To travel up and down the East Coast playing ball; thats a good ticket to have.
The academic scholarship suddenly gave Sours a new outlook on school work.
I used to always complain about school work, Sours said. But when it makes you some money, its not as hard.
As for the work shes put in on the field, Sours said all of her coaches have played a big role in her development as a player and a person, from her first coach Dusty Anchors right on down to Welling.
I started early with Dusty Anchors, Sours said. But as a group, all of us have kind of grown up together. Im prepared. Im excited.
But that doesnt mean shes afraid to poke a little fun on the way.
The coaching staff (at CCSU) is pretty laid back, Sours said. Its not as intense as I expected. It reminds me of a Bruce practice.
And for Welling, who said he will see his fifth or sixth player graduating to the highest recesses of the game, the sight never gets old.
The day it gets old is the day I quit coaching, Welling said. This is my 34th year of coaching, so I dont think itll get old any time soon.