Franklin-Simpson High School hosted their ninth letter of intent signing press conference and the first for a female athlete as Lady Cats' senior Kelsey Rittenberry signed her letter of intent to play soccer for Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders last Thursday.
"This is exciting to be able to have our ninth athlete to continue to play athletics in college but to be able to further their educational career," FSHS Principal Tim Schlosser said. "We are excited for Kelsey and her family to have this opportunity. We at Franklin-Simpson High School are excited to have Kelsey, our first soccer player, signing their letter of intent this year."
Lindsey Wilson College is a United Methodist four-year college located in Columbia. The school was founded in January 1903 in affiliation with the southern division of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
"I chose Lindsey Wilson because it was the best fit for me. It's a Christian-based college and that will help me in my faith and for my future," Rittenberry said. "I visited a couple of times and everything is so close-knit. I met some people that told me all about the school and it is going to be an experience."
Lady Cats Head Coach Dennis Anderson reflected on Rittenberry's contribution to the team.
"Kelsey is a highly driven and talented young woman. As a coach, I have constantly been amazed at her drive and love for the game," Anderson said. "Kelsey demands so very much of herself and those around her. We are proud of this young woman that has achieved so much and will continue to set and exceed her own high standards."
Blue Raiders Head Coach Elisha Fry, who won a NAIA national championship as a player for Lindsey Wilson, is building the program to have the same success as she did as a player and said Rittenberry is a welcome addition.
"Her attitude and effort will make her a tremendous asset to our soccer program and to the school," Fry said. "She'll bring some qualities to the team that will help us. It's like playing on the high school level where you have to learn and adapt and she will do that on the collegiate level. There will be some things she has to learn but I am confident she will and we are happy to have her become a Blue Raider."
According to Anderson, Rittenberry's hard work in the classroom and on the soccer field is a shining example of what you can benefit if you dedicate yourself to the hard work in fulfilling yourself as a student-athlete.
"Kelsey is an example to her teammates, Franklin-Simpson High School and this town that hard work, focus and selflessness can reap great rewards on the field and off, as well." Anderson said. "She is poised to further her educational, and athletic opportunities. Her example is one to inspire the younger players to work towards. Kelsey Rittenberry has made many sacrifices on her journey to this point. She has created an environment to launch herself into the next chapter of her life on solid footing to achieve even more in the future. This is merely a well deserved beginning for a great person we should all be proud of."
Rittenberry will be majoring in business marketing but she has higher aspirations for her future with the game of soccer.
"It's been a dream of mine to play soccer on the college level," Rittenberry said. "I've played the game for 12 years and I am excited to take that next step with Coach Fry. Her knowledge and experience can possibly help me to making nationals and possibly playing on another level."