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Outside » Outside Features

Bend Champion Student Athletes Head to University Teams

Storm golfer Alyssa Kerry reports from William Penn

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In February, student athletes from the Summit Storm, Mountain View Cougars and Bend Lava Bears signed letters of intent to attend and play sports at various colleges across the United States. From Mt. View, Zach Emerson [featured in the Source, Feb. 4] and Cam McCormick will head to the Oregon Ducks football team.

At Summit, 11 student athletes signed at the Letter of Intent Day ceremony, held in the school's library. The young athletes may wonder what's in store for them as they venture forth to university. One year ago, former Summit student-athlete Alyssa Kerry sat in their place. Her sport was golf and her destination was William Penn, a private, liberal arts university in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Today, she's playing for the Statesmen, studying communications, and just began sports reporting for the university's TV channel.

It's an exciting time full of opportunity for these local athletes. When asked last year if she had ever been to Iowa, Kerry replied, "No, but I hear they have lots of corn and pigs." One year later, now that she is in Iowa, she says, "I haven't seen so many pigs, but there is definitely a lot of corn."

"I love it here," she says. "I've been having such a great time. Even though we are in the middle of nowhere, there are so many opportunities to go and do things, and I definitely think I made the right choice."

Kerry started playing golf at age 11 to compete with her older sister Rebecca, who recently completed four years on the golf team at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

"It was at first about beating my sister, but then, I fell in love with the game," Kerry says.

Kerry finished second to her Summit teammate, Madison Odiorne, at the 2014 Class 5A Oregon state championships. Odiorne now plays for Washington State University. "I've always been a person who loves being outside and golf provides me an opportunity to be there. You're out on your own. It's the best of both worlds," says Kerry. The Statesmen freshman has enjoyed five top 20 finishes in tournaments and in addition to golf, she has exceled as a communications major.

"It's really weird that I chose communications," the member of three straight state title teams at Summit offered. "In school, I was never one to give speeches or anything like that. I actually really love it," she says. "I'm writing for the school newspaper and I have a job in sports information where I commentate after the games," she says. "I've done soccer and volleyball games, and I also write for the school's social media platforms."

Kerry now appears on a sports recap show on the college's television station. In addition to golf and sportscasting, she's found plenty to do in Iowa. She is currently carrying 18 units and much to her own surprise, joined a sorority. Ultimately, for Kerry, the love starts with the game. "I can't imagine not playing golf in college. I obviously do not know what I would do without it," she says.

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