— By GREG WEBB
Kelsie Coplen — Cameron University — Volleyball
PEASTER — Senior Kelsie Coplen had her offer in-hand, so to speak, last fall. And the invite came from the school she eventually chose to further her education and extend her athletic career. But she had to perform a bit more due diligence before deciding to sign a national letter-of-intent for Cameron University.
“ I could have committed last fall,” Coplen said, “but I wanted to make sure I visited the other schools that had some interest.
“At the end of the process, it was an easy decision to make. Cameron had many advantages, including being close enough to home.”
Located iu Lawton, Okla., just a two and a half hour jaunt up U.S. Hwy. 281 from Peaster, the burgeoning volleyball program and her potential contribution was also an attraction to become an Aggie.
“Coach [Doug] Tabbert said he was bringing in a lot of new players in, and that I could make a difference in the way Cameron plays volleyball,” Kelsie said. “He just showed a lot of interest in getting me up to Cameron.
“I loved the campus at Cameron too, and had the opportunity to talk to several of the players. They all said the coach was great and was helping turn the program around.”
Coplen has degree plans in place (biology major, chemistry minor) to pursue a career as a physical therapist. Though she describes her current curricular path as “set in stone,” she is also realistic about the possibility of repointing her studies as thoughts change.
Though she describes her volleyball beginnings as dubious, her persitance eventually won out — and paid off.
“I started playing for the Peaster Pounders in the sixth grade,” she said. “We were awful, but our teams started getting better in the seventh and eighth grades, when I was playing on the A-teams.