Courtney Donaldson Named Recipient Of First Softball Academic Award (07-28-12)

Courtney Donaldson, a recent graduate of Clarion High School, has been honored as the recipient of the first “Clarion Area Softball – Allen Peterson Academic Achievement Award.” The award, with an accompanying five-hundred dollar scholarship, was established by Allen “Pete” Peterson, an assistant coach for the last five seasons. The award will be given each year, to the senior girl with the top GPA (3.0 minimum), who has at least 2 years in the program. If no senior meets the qualifying standards a junior will be selected.

Allen “Pete” Peterson Presenting The 2012 Clarion Area Softball- Allen Peterson Academic Achievement Award to Courtney Donaldson

Allen “Pete” Peterson Presenting The 2012 Clarion Area Softball- Allen Peterson Academic Achievement Award to Courtney Donaldson

Allen, who has decided to “retire” said, “It was just my last year of coaching and I thought it would be something to give back to the program.” He continued, “There’s  a lot of deserving kids, and Courtney exemplifies what the award was supposed to be for. She worked hard and didn’t quit and stayed with it. She’s smart on and off the field and that’s what we’re looking for. She’s done a great job.”

The Daughter of Scott and Mary Jo Donaldson, Courtney played four years for the Lady Cats. She was mainly used as a centerfielder, but saw time at each outfield position, as well as second base.

Courtney was an honor student in the classroom. The scholarship will be put to good use, as she plans to attend CUP, majoring in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She hasn’t decided whether she’ll continue her softball career.

Courtney mentioned that she wanted to play high school softball since she was in T-ball.

Among her fond softball memories: “Everyone from each year… Getting new players and remembering the old. That’s always great. We had fun times of course, but we take it seriously.” She also shared that there was a time they had the fire truck come and cool them off after a hard practice. “ About her coaches, Courtney stated, “ I just really want to thank them for everything they have taught me and the encouragement they have given me. It was a great four years I played and I would not take it back for anything in the world.”

Manager, Dan Shofestall had high praise for Courtney. “Courtney was a 4 year letter winner for our Clarion softball team. She was voted as one of our captains, this year, by her fellow teammates. It has been a joy to coach Courtney these past 4 years. She had an outstanding work ethic and always came to practice prepared to make herself and her team better. She led by her actions on the field. In the 4 years I coached her, I never saw her pout or feel sorry for herself. She just kept on working. Courtney excelled in both the classroom, and on the softball field, and is a great representative of what the Allen Peterson Academic Excellence Award is all about. Congratulations Courtney.”

Assistant Coach and Softball Booster Club president, Eric Funk echoed those sentiments.      “… I’ve never seen a kid more agreeable, more positive, that would hustle better and be more of a team player than Courtney Donaldson. …Never once did she ever question anything, just went out and did what you asked her to do, and she did it well. … Always been a pleasure to be involved with Courtney Donaldson.”

On Coach Peterson, Dan said, “Allen has been the assistant coach for Clarion softball the past 5 years. He has made numerous contributions to our team, both on the field and off the field. His love for the team, the players he coached through the years and the game of softball is something we will always remember. He was an outstanding coach who always gave 100% to the team. I consider him a good friend and will always be indebted to him for the help he gave me through the years. We thank Allen for establishing this academic award and would like to thank him for the impact he has had on the lives of so many of our young ladies that have been a part of Clarion Softball.”

Eric said, “You’re just so thankful for people who have a positive impact on kids and this is totally in keeping with the way I’ve known him to be. He’s just giving.  …We’re (the Booster Club) just proud to be associated with Coach Peterson and what he’s meant to the program, and will continue to mean, thanks to this award.

Allen and his wife Robin have three children, daughters Karla and Kelli who have been through the program and son Kent. Allen said, “I’ve had a great time coaching. I’m going to miss it. I’ll miss the kids. But it’s time to move on and let younger blood move in.

And hopefully that younger blood will help to perpetuate the program’s recent success on the field (KSAC Champs 2008,09,10,11; 2010 D-9 Runner up; 2011 D-9 Champs and State Runner-up) and off, turning out fine ladies like Courtney.

Best wishes to Courtney and Allen.