Bailey signs with Ancilla CollegePublished 12:45pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Dowagiac senior Rachel Bailey will continue her academic and athletic career at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind.
Bailey signed a letter of intent Friday afternoon in front of family and friends at Dowagiac Union High School.
There was a point last fall when Bailey was sure her athletic career was over. She sustained a knee injury while playing volleyball, one of the four sports she participates in for the Chieftains. The injury required surgery.
Originally, Bailey was told she wouldn’t be ready to play softball, her best sport, until April. But with some extra effort, she says she will be ready when practice begins in March.
“I felt like I had lost everything that I had worked for,” Bailey said. “Before my injury, I did travel ball all year round and had softball every single weekend, so I was on top of it. After my injury, I thought that everything I had done was lost and that I would never get back on my feet until a couple of years later. I didn’t think I would ever get stronger, and I was in jeopardy of losing my scholarship.”
Ancilla softball coach Scott Reese said he never wavered in his desire to sign Bailey. In fact, Ancilla was the only school that kept in contact with Bailey after her injury.
“I really liked her attitude and how she went after everything,” Reese said. “She excited me with the way I saw her play softball. But it’s not just about softball for me, it’s also about the person we are going to have at Ancilla. She’s a team player. I can tell that by the conversations I’ve had with her and her parents. She’s just a great kid and on top of it a great softball player as well.”
Bailey was looking at some other junior college programs before selecting Ancilla. Among them were Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Lake Michigan College and Lansing Community College.
“I really like the softball facilities there; they really impressed me,” Bailey said. “I like how everything was together and organized so I don’t have to go to a lot of different buildings to get to my classes.”