Clarke academic all-state


In helping the Granbury Lady Pirates softball team return to the playoffs, senior Kelsey Clarke was honored by District 7-4A coaches for her play on the field.

She was also one of the smartest players in district – and the entire state.

Clarke was recently named academic all-state by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. This came on the heels of earning academic all-district.

She also earned second-team all-district for her play in the field.

“I am always excited for my players to achieve academic recognition,” said Lady Pirate coach Chad Kimberling. “It shows that they are truly student-athletes.

“Kelsey being honored with academic all-state is a big honor. She was there all year working hard in and out of the classroom.

“She, along with others, showed that success in the classroom can be carried to the field, and vice-versa.”

To qualify for TGCA academic all-state, a player must be a graduating senior, have a grade-point average of 94 or above, must be a varsity participant in good standing, and be of good moral character.

Clarke also led a group of six players who were academic all-district. She was joined by underclassmen Taelyn Beadle, Breanna Crain, Shelby Hilton, Maci Samuelson, and Whitley Tipton.

Kimberling said having smart players often translates into success on the field. The Lady Pirates finished 15-17, their most victories since the 2010 season, and they tied for second in district.

“Our academic all-district players this year were all big parts of the team, and a major reason that we were somewhat successful this year,” he said.

“I am very proud of all of them.”

Kimberling has been head coach three years, and in each of his seasons, the Lady Pirates have had multiple all-district and six academic all-state.

“That is a very big deal for the girls, and shows their dedication to their education, above and beyond the playing field,” said Kimberling.

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