This article was written by Sloane Kapit, class of 2019.
Six years of varsity softball finally paid off for junior Kelly Torres. Rarely does a 12-year-old make a varsity team; however, Torres has played varsity softball at Heritage since sixth grade. Torres started playing T-ball at age 5 and continued on with softball ever since.
“I started because my brother played baseball, and when I was younger, I always wanted to do everything my brother did,” she said.
During the summer and fall, Torres plays on Gold Coast Hurricanes 18U- Marty Cooper. Her travel softball coach also coaches the Heritage team. On her travel softball team, she plays alongside fellow Heritage teammates seniors Katherine Rodriguez and Jordyn Griffith.
“I love the people that this sport has brought me,” she said. “I already have many life long friends that I know I will keep in contact with, and I wouldn’t have them without softball.”
Throughout Torres’ softball career, her parents have encouraged her the most. Torres notes how much they have sacrificed traveling, taking her to tournaments and putting her through high school.
Although softball has brought many positives to her life, the commitment process proved stressful for Torres. College coaches cannot talk to players until Sept. 1 of their junior year, a regulation which stands as an obstacle in athlete college admissions.
Torres, who has had her heart set on Duke University since a young age, has attended Duke’s softball camps since eighth grade.
“I had no idea if the school I wanted to go to liked me back,” Torres said. She sent the Duke coaches emails and text messages with updates and videos so they would not forget about her. Although they could not contact her back, these efforts served as a constant reminder of her abilities. In the meantime, Torres worked on improving her ACT score and balancing school with athletics.
Torres achieved her career-long goal of committing to Duke Feb. 16. Torres has expressed excitement not only that she has completed the recruiting process, but also that she will soon experience college life.
“I would say my biggest achievement is committing to Duke,” Torres said. (Photo Submitted/Kelly Torres)
“Duke has always been my dream school,” she said. “Sometimes, I still don’t believe that I am going there.” Multiple qualities drew Torres to the university; she desired to attend a school with an Ivy League academic level that also maintains top D1 athletic programs, a combination which she describes as “having best of both worlds.”
Torres advises younger softball players wishing to follow a similar path to never give up their goals.
“If you have a dream school, do not settle for less,” she said. “Chase the school you want to go to, and don’t allow other people’s words to make you change your choice.”