Spotlight on Former Softball Coach Kelsea Cheney

Former AHS Alumna Led the Team to Greatness

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Softball coaches Kristen Reardon (left) and Kelsea Cheney (right) with seniors Lauren Keleher (BU) and Corin Mahan (Assumption) during the Letter of Intent signing held after school at Abington High School on November 18, 2019.

Bill Marquardt, with permission

Softball coaches Kristen Reardon (left) and Kelsea Cheney (right) with seniors Lauren Keleher (BU) and Corin Mahan (Assumption) during the Letter of Intent signing held after school at Abington High School on November 18, 2019.

Abington High School alumna and former varsity softball coach Kelsea Cheney graduated in 2009. While attending Abington, she played soccer, softball and basketball. After high school, she went to SNHU.

At SNHU, Cheney was a four-year member and a two-time captain. She also earned NE-10 conference honors three years in a row as a second basemen and graduated as one of the most decorated players in the program’s history.

Cheney then coached 16U travel softball after she graduated college, then coached for three years as an assistant at Southern New Hampshire University, one year as head coach at Emmanuel College, and two years at Abington High.

She was passionate about the girls’ softball team. She felt a very strong connection with them. With her prior experience, Cheney had much knowledge to share. She said, “We were one unit with one goal and we were determined to get there.”

A lot of coaches will talk of how difficult it is to get their players motivated, but never once did I have that problem”

— Kelsea Cheney

For the two years Cheney coached the Waves varsity softball team, she led them to win state championships. “It was one of the best experiences of my life, one that I will never forget,” she said.

The team wanted to win just as bad a Cheney did. “A lot of coaches will talk of how difficult it is to get their players motivated, but never once did I have that problem,” she said.

Coaching at Abington all started when Cheney was asked to coach the intramural volleyball program. After the first year they became a varsity sport and she coached for one year. Shortly after, she became the head softball coach for two years.

Regarding her involvement in athletics at Abington, Cheney said, “Softball was, of course, the most exciting for me, having been a previous part of the program. Volleyball was exciting as well because it was new to the school and I was able to help bring it up.”

When asked what was the most important thing to know about coaching, Cheney said, “to remember that each player is an individual. Not every kid is going to respond to the same types of discipline. They may not understand something as quickly. And, they will all have different personalities. As a coach you need to be able to adapt to how different your group of kids may be while also sticking to your coaching style.”

Cheney was also very passionate about having good health and working out. “Conditioning is a huge part of any athlete’s abilities and stamina. Especially when working with younger athletes. I think that conditioning helps them to understand their bodies better because sometimes they are still learning their coordination.

I will miss being able to see the girls grow their skills throughout the season.”

— Kelsea Cheney

In order to have a good team they need to be healthy for their safety. Cheney said this is true “especially in the softball season. We can end up playing four days in a row and that can really test your stamina. Conditioning helps prepare athletes to continue to perform when they are tired,” she said.

Having motivated athletes was something Cheney appreciated. She said that, “One thing that I loved about coaching the softball team was that the girls were always willing to learn. Everyone came to practice and games ready and into it. They made my job as a coach even easier because they were attentive and wanted to grow as athletes.”

Regarding students leaving Abington to pursue an athletic career in college, or one that is in the process of getting recruited by a college program, Cheney’s advice was to be flexible. “Yes,  you may be a short stop now, but that may not be what your teams needs you to be. They may need you to play third or second, and that should not be a problem for you. And if you want to get back to playing that position, earn it.” Coming from a very well experienced coach and a college player herself, Cheney’s advice is very helpful.

Last season was the final season for Cheney coaching for the Green Wave. She will be finishing her last semester of nursing school during the season. Regarding leaving, she said, “I will miss being able to see the girls grow their skills throughout the season.” She added that, “It was a very difficult decision for me and I will miss it.”

The Athletics Department had an amazing softball coach who will be greatly missed.

Note: Victoria Seppala, the author of this article, was a member of the Waves softball team under Coach Cheney.

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