DCHS Tigerette Softball standout Chelsey Brannon will play for the Tennessee Wesleyan Lady Bulldogs next season.
A signing ceremony was held Monday afternoon at the DCHS library. Her scholarship award is $58,000 from Tennessee Wesleyan
Brannon's mother, coaches, and fellow players joined her for the signing. "I'm really excited and really thankful and ready to play," said Brannon.
Although she initially didn't have a desire to play college softball, Brannon said she changed her mind after a visit to Tennessee Wesleyan and a little encouragement from one of her high school coaches. " (Assistant Tigerette )Coach Danny Fish recommended it (the school). At first I didn't want to play college softball but later I decided I didn't want to quit. He told me it is a great school and I think it would be a great fit for you so I said okay. We went down for a visit and I fell in love with it," said Brannon.
"We are very excited to be getting Chelsey," said Toby Brooks, Softball Coach at Tennessee Wesleyan. "I've got to come over and see her play quite a few times and we've had her over for a visit. She is a great kid and a great fit and we're really excited to be getting her as an addition to our team next season. We're going to be a very young team next year. We had a big graduating class. We'll have a lot of new kids playing. I really feel like Chelsey can come in and fit right in that mix and contribute early on. She'll be playing as an outfielder for us. We're probably looking at her in left field. I really think she is that prototypical left fielder," added Coach Brooks.
"She is very deserving of this opportunity. Not just because of her playing abilities but she is a good student. A good citizen. A good person," said DCHS Tigerette Coach Danny Bond. "She batted fourth for us and played left field for us this year. She came on last year as a player and started hitting the ball real well. She has an on-base percentage of. 585 and her batting average at this point is .377. She has 37 RBI's. She is leading the team in drawing walks at 22 so she has a good eye at the plate and sees the ball real well when it is thrown over in the strike zone. She does a good job of putting the ball in play and when it's not (in the strike zone) she sees it and ends up getting on base with a walk. That's the reason she has a high on-base percentage. She has had only two errors in the outfield, which is good and she has made some fantastic plays," added Coach Bond.
"I am ecstatic. This is more than we could have every imagined," said Chelsey's mother Amanda Brannon. We are just so very thankful that it's all kind of come together at the end and her hard work has paid off. I am just thankful to the coaches for the hard work they have put in and the dedication of the team. I think the girls have really come together this year and worked together when they needed to pull it out. It's been a wonderful season," she said.
Located in Athens, Tennessee, Wesleyan is an NAIA school and a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Coach Brooks is in his eleventh season leading the Lady Bulldogs.
In addition to the $58,000 scholarship from Tennessee Wesleyan, Brannon also received a scholarship from Cookeville Regional Medical Center and Pepsi for $1,000 and the David Wayne Alexander Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 during Monday night's Senior Awards program at DCHS.
(Top photo: Seated: Amanda Brannon, Chelsey Brannon, and Tennessee Wesleyan Coach Toby Brooks. Standing: Assistant Tigerette Coach Melissa Ruch, Coach Danny Bond, and Assistant Coach Danny Fish).