After helping her team to another state title as a junior, this powerful post player is inaugurating a new high school's team this season.
Kelsie Edwards is a pioneer of sorts. As a junior, she helped lead Mansfield High School to the Texas Class 5A state title last season. But Mansfield now has been divided into two schools, which means Edwards is the senior leader of the first-ever Summitt High School girls' basketball team.
"There's a little bit of pressure, and it's been hard to get used to, but I guess it's a good thing," Edwards told the Dallas Morning News. "It's kind of weird being the only senior. Yeah, there's some pressure, but I just have to take on the responsibility."
As a junior, she proved that she's capable of carrying the load. Along with Erin Grant, who now plays for Texas Tech, Edwards led Mansfield to its fourth consecutive state title. She averaged 13.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, and impressed Head Coach Samantha Morrow with her versatility.
"Last season she definitely did everything we thought she could do and more," said Morrow, who also moved to Summitt from Mansfield. "She is a very versatile player and a very deceiving player that can cause problems."
During Mansfield's 2002 title run, Edwards hit the biggest shot of her career. In the state semifinals against Spring Westfield, Mansfield was down by two points with 6.6 seconds left to play. Edwards took an inbound pass and hit a short, off-balance jumper to send the game to overtime.
"We weren't afraid to ask her to do that as a junior, and we won't be afraid to ask her to do that again this year," said Morrow. "The good thing is that she's head and shoulders above where she was last year. She'll do fine. She'll be a good leader on the floor."
Edwards was nominated for our High School Hero page by Mansfield's Allison Brown , who told us about Erin Grant last year. "Kelsie deserves to be a High School Hero because she is not only a wonderful athlete but also an extraordinary person," says Brown. "She's ranked in the top 10 percent of her high school class. Off the court, Kelsie is involved in church and loves to help kids in basketball. She is a terrific leader and a wonderful motivational person. She has a great work ethic and will succeed in anything she puts her mind to."
Edwards has honed her game playing AAU ball, and she has found success there, too. Last summer, she helped lead the Texas Stars team that won the 2002 AAU Nationals Shootout Bracket.
In November, Edwards signed a Letter of Intent to attend North Texas University. "We are very excited to have Kelsie on board," said NTU head coach Tina Slinker. "She is a tremendous young lady who will contribute to our program immediately. Kelsie is a solid post player who has the ability to score inside and out. She also has the ability to score on the block and is very deceiving despite her size. Kelsie has been a part of one of the most successful high schools in the country and will bring an attitude of positive winning every time she steps on the court."
Article written by Gball Associate Editor Jim Catalano.
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