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March 6, 2010

College Report: Former South standout Fuqua ready to lead The Woods’ golf team

TERRE HAUTE — Kelsey Fuqua had an outstanding golf career at Terre Haute South, and will be one of the cornerstones as veteran coach Steve Higham builds a program at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Fuqua was a medalist 13 times, including six in her senior year, earning all-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference honors twice and sectional runnerup medalist honors twice.

She was a state finalist in her sophomore year and Vigo County champ in her senior year, with a career average of 42.23.

“Kelsey made an immediate impact to our program as a freshman and was a tremendous leader for our team ever since,” South Coach Cara Stuckey said. “Despite all of her individual success, she is most proud of our team's accomplishments. I cannot thank Kelsey enough for what she has meant to our program but know her leadership ability and winning attitude will be a valuable asset to St. Mary's new golf program.”

During Fuqua’s career, South won the sectional title three times, four Vigo County championships, had two undefeated seasons, won two tournaments and had a 40-3 overall record.

That’s the kind of success Higham was hoping to be able to attract to the Woods campus.

“She has been a tremendous asset to THS and has been well coached,” said Higham, the long-time Terre Haute North coach who took a few years off before returning to the links at the college level. “As I learned, the college women play a much longer golf course than we did in high school. I think Kelsey will be able to adapt to the added yardage right away.

“She has a great work ethic and is an outstanding individual.”

One thing Higham and the other Pomeroys coaches are very appreciative of is the ability to award a scholarship this to a top high school athlete.

“Dr. [David G.] Behrs and the Trustees have provided one Presidential Scholarship per sport, and we were able to award the golf scholarship to Kelsey,” Higham said. “She also excels in the classroom, and I think she is an outstanding recipient of an award that I appreciate St. Mary's allowing me to give.”

Fuqua will be joined at the Woods by Cecelia Gray of West Vigo and Owen Valley seniors Faith Jones and Michaley Kinser.

“All four of the women will be able to contribute to our program immediately,” Higham said. “Like Kelsey and our current players the women will all be excellent student-athletes. I'm also delighted that they are local products.”

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* Byrd to LTC — Cloverdale senior softball player Martika Byrd has signed a letter of intent to play softball at Lincoln Trail.

LTC Coach Rachael Killinger believes Byrd's leadership ability is one of her biggest strengths.

“Tika's ability behind the plate is pretty impressive,” Killinger said. “She has a strong arm and a strong sense of leadership that you need from a catcher. She brings a strong and consistent bat, and with graduating our two leading hitters she will be able to step in and help fill that void."

* Canary honored — University of Indianapolis senior Jessica Canary of South Putnam has been selected to the College Sports Information Directors Association of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Women’s Basketball Academic All-District 5 First Team. The team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, Canary maintains a 3.90 cumulative GPA in Elementary Education.

The Academic All-District honorees are voted on by nation’s Sports Information Directors, with the first teamers moving on the All-American consideration. To be nominated, the student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average.

A second-team all-district honoree last year, Canary ranks in the league’s top twenty in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks and free throw percentage.

* A familiar name — Iowa women’s freshman basketball player Jaime Printy was named as a second-team all-Big Ten Conference selection by the media this year, a third-team all-Big Ten pick by the coaches and the league’s Freshman of the Year.

The 5-11 Printy is a native of Iowa, and if her name sounds familiar it’s because her older brother Jordan is a sharp-shooting guard for the Indiana State men’s team.

She has also notched four 20-point games and a team-high three double-doubles on the season.

Printy is the fifth player in school history to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, joining Lisa Becker (1984), Franthea Price (1987), Tiffany Gooden (1995) and Megan Skouby (2006). The Marion, IA, native led Big Ten freshmen in scoring (15.8) and free throw percentage (.836) in Big Ten games.

For all games, Printy led the entire league in free throw percentage (.873) and ranked second in three-pointers made per game (2.45). She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week four times. She also broke Iowa's freshmen scoring and three-pointers made records.

Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches and coaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at tribstarcollegereport@yahoo.com.

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