Senior Connor Kelly Commits to Harding University for Baseball

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Senior Connor Kelly has finally made a decision and committed to the college of his choice. After many years of dedication, hard work, and contemplating what school would give him the best opportunity to play baseball at the collegiate level, he has chosen Harding University.

“I think I started playing when I was four or five, tee-ball, and then moved my way up all the way to playing college baseball next year,” Kelly said. “I’ve just been doing it my entire life really.”

Kelly stated that though he started playing at a young age, he fell in love with the sport very quickly. Not only does he love baseball for the game and the way it is played, but for the lessons he has learned along the way.

“Baseball is a game you learn a lot of life lessons from, because it’s a game of failure,” Kelly said. “You learn a lot about yourself and learn how to react to failure and that’s a really big part of life.”

Kelly says that baseball is a “very skilled game” and something he has had to work at. He says that he’s always working to get better, and that’s what sets him apart when playing baseball. It’s a game that can be perfected, and that’s what he enjoys the most.

According to junior Jason McKelvey, Kelly’s positive attitude has rubbed off greatly on the team.

“[His love of baseball] motivates me, makes me work harder, he doesn’t let me slack off,” McKelvey said. “He’s very positive, and really a team player.”

Coach Mark Rasmussen agreed, stating that Kelly is a great person and hard worker.

“He is very coachable,” Rasmussen said. “He thinks about his teammates first.”

Rasmussen said that his favorite part of coaching Kelly stems from the way he plays the game. He plays the game “the right way” and said that he sees Kelly going on to be very successful in life.

“The way he carries himself, everyone looks up to him,” Rasmussen said.

Kelly stated that when it comes to baseball, his one major influence is his dad. He says that his father is always asking if he wants to go practice, and is always pushing him to work harder.

“I just know that he’s always there for me,” Kelly said. “He always is pushing me to be the best that I can. I’m really forever thankful to him for that.”

Kelly says that when it came to deciding on a college, he originally thought he was looking for a bigger college. He also says he didn’t initially know anything about Harding until he visited the campus, which is located in Searcy, Arkansas.

“It was a small enough college that it still [had] a [larger] campus feel,” Kelly said.

He said that ultimately it was not only the size of the campus that made him choose Harding University, but the impression he got from the coaches who he met there, as well.

“The coaches there were just so welcoming, even after the first weekend that I met them,” Kelly said. “I got a really good feel for [their coaching] during that time.”

McKelvey, as a fellow teammate, hopes to see Kelly accomplish many things as he moves on to playing for Harding.

“I think he’s capable of a lot,” McKelvey said.

Rasmussen agreed, saying that he hopes to see Kelly accomplish many things in the future.

“I would love to see him become all conference, all regional and all-state,” Rasmussen said.

As for his future career in baseball at the collegiate level, Kelly said he already has a plan in mind.

“I was looking for a college where I could play right away, and at Harding I have the chance to do that,” Kelly said. “My future goal is to play there and play as well as I possibly can.”