By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The typical Saturday for Kelsey Moss growing up consisted of fun, games, resting from school and some go-kart action.
As she approached the age of 10 in Tipton County, Moss started to pay attention to some of her friends racing off to the softball field.
“Honestly my two best friends, I used to race go-karts with them,” Moss recalled. “We would talk about how fun it was. All my friends I grew up with always talked about how fun (softball) was. So I was like, ‘You know what, let me try this out.’ I started out just like a socializing thing. And now I’m the only one who is sticking with it.”
Moss is sticking with the sport so much that on Nov. 7 she inked her letter of intent in the Munford High School Library to play softball at Southwest Tennessee for Head Coach Keith Gentry. Moss was joined by her parents Kim and Jason, teammates, administrators, Munford Head Coach Glenn Goulder, grandmother Beverly Yarbro and grandfather Danny Davis.
“This means a lot to me,” Kelsey said. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this place in my softball career. I just can’t wait to further it at Southwest.”
Most girls growing up to play college softball from Tipton County start around the age of 4 or 5. Moss came to her parents Kim and Jason one day expressing interest in softball.
“She’s a lot like we are as a family,” Jason said. “When she gets to wanting something she just doesn’t stop until she gets all that she can get out of it. We don’t quit anything. We finish it out. And she has a drive I saw since the beginning.
“We owe a lot to Brittany Williams and Olivia Allgood,” he continued. “When we did see that was what she wanted to do we started reaching out to them to make her better. And they kept pushing and pushing her.”
Williams took Kelsey and her brother Tanner to the plate to take some cuts.
“I started with Kelsey when she was about 8 or 9,” Williams recalled. “Her and her brother came in and I’ve been working with her ever since. She worked really hard. She’s still working hard. She come every week. She plans on going to play at another school after the two years at Southwest.”
After Williams sparked Kelsey’s passion for the game, Allgood entered the picture pushing Moss to another level.
“Kelsey is the type of player that will give you everything she’s got and leave it all out on the field,” Allgood said. “She has more love for this game than any other player I’ve ever had. She gives every once, every drop of sweat, every tear in there.
“I used her an outfielder,” she continued. “And she’s a great middle of the lineup type of hitter. She’s a leader in the outfield. She takes control. She’s like the commander of chief.”
Kelsey said the motivation and devotion of Allgood as a coach helped her reach her signing day.
“When Olivia became my coach,” she said, “she pushed me the hardest that I’ve ever been pushed. She has believed in me when nobody else has.”
That belief spread to Goulder and his Lady Cougar program. Goulder said Moss will benefit the Lady Saluqis next after one more season in Munford.
“They are getting a real hard work and a great teammate,” he said. “Kelsey is real steady in the outfield and has a good arm. She gets a good read on the ball. Offensively, she’s going to put the bat on the ball. She strikes out rarely. They’re getting a good quality player.
“I expect a lot of leadership since she’s the only senior on the entire team this year,” Goulder added. “She’s got some big shoes to fill but I think she’s up for the task. I think she’ll do a great job.”
Moss said she is ready to be the leader the 2017 Lady Cougars will need to make a return trip back to State.
“I’m just glad to be here and be able to lead my team the way I need to be,” Kelsey said. “I hope we make it farther in districts than we did last year. I hope we make it all the way to State. We made it my freshman year and I hope we make it my senior year to finish out strong.”
Kim is hoping the same for her daughter in her final campaign as a Lady Cougar. She also wants her signing day to inspire other Munford Softball players in the near future.
“I hope she can excel and lead her team and be a role model to the underclassmen to help them know with just a little bit of belief in yourself you can go further,” she said.
From her days in the Atoka Recreation League to time spent with the Mid-South Predators, Moss has worked hard to reach the college softball level. She expressed gratitude to several people but the time invested by Allgood planted the seed to her dream.
“It means a lot to me,” Allgood concluded. “I’ve been coaching her since she was 14. I’ve been pushing her, probably harder than any other coach has. It means a lot to me because I’ve seen her grow as a softball player out there on that field.”