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Former Dawson standout softballer Simpson switching gears to another sport

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Katelynn Simpson was a standout athlete at Dawson County, starring in both softball and basketball. A class of 2016 graduate for the Lady Tigers, Simpson penned a letter to attend Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia, an NJCAA Division-I program.

In an unexpected turn of events, Simpson has announced that she will be not only transferring following her 2018 sophomore season to Brenau University, an NAIA member, but in a completely different sport.

Katelynn Simpson (Dawson)

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

And it’s not basketball, either. Simpson will be heading to play lacrosse for the Golden Tigers in Gainesville, who are just finishing their inaugural season (1-14, including going 1-10 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference). While the sport she’s moving to is a bit of a surprise, the fact that she’s playing another sport in general is not such a shock.

“I grew up playing as many sports as possible and challenging myself to always improve,” says Simpson.

SOFTBALL SUCCESS

It’s not as if the catcher/infielder wasn’t producing at a high level on the diamond. Here are her career stats at Andrew College, which went 19-28 overall in 2018 and went 21-39 in 2017.

2017: .305 AVG, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 22 R, 2 SB, 7 2B, 3 3B, 12 BB
2018: .323 AVG, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 20 R, 5 SB, 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB

It’s not every day you see a collegiate player with a .300-plus career average, seven homers and 50 RBI call it quits from a sport midway through their eligibility. For Simpson, she felt that she had achieved what she set out to do.

“I’m grateful to say that I achieved my dreams of playing softball at a collegiate level, so when the opportunity of possibly playing lacrosse came knocking at my door, I couldn’t resist saying yes,” says Simpson on why the change of heart. “There aren’t many people who get that kind of opportunity and I’ve definitely been blessed.”

A NEW CHALLENGE

While some athletes make this type of decision perhaps after just playing a sport so long that it begins to lose its luster, that’s not the case for Simpson, who points to wanting a new challenge.

“I’ve had my ups and downs with softball, but I will always love this sport,” she says. “I’ve been playing it since I was nine, and it’s been hard for me to say goodbye to a sport I’ve known for so long. However, I’m excited to see what kind of challenges I can overcome while playing lacrosse.”

Katelynn Simpson 2 2018 ANDREW

While it was a possibility to play softball at Brenau, that’s not what Simpson has in mind.

“I thought about [playing softball at Brenau also] several times, but I want to focus on learning lacrosse and giving it my 110%,” claims Simpson.

This begs the question, when did Simpson have the time to even pick up another sport?

“Since I’m currently in the middle of the softball season, I want to wait for it to end before I start focusing on the transition to lacrosse,” Simpson says. “As soon as softball ends, I will begin training and practicing. Coach [Emily Wetmore De Jiacomo] (Brenau’s lacrosse coach) has been extremely patient and helpful when it comes to helping me learn lacrosse. Throughout this summer, I will be working with her so I can be prepared for the next season.”

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

How did this come about for Simpson?

“Dawsonville is a small town and [De Jiacomo] met my mom at Moe’s,” says Simpson. “Long story short, she had heard about my high school and college career and contacted me soon after. [Brenau] plans to place me at midfield. The plan is to take pieces of each sport I’ve played and put it into one once I hit the field.”

That could be a deadly combination for Simpson, who clearly has been gifted athletically, and has dreams of becoming a physical therapist.

Jacky Jones 2018

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