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Kayla Larson Looks to Step Right in at Mercyhurst

by cnewman

Usually, freshman don't step right in to a college program and start right away.

Don't tell that to Mt. Mercy Academy senior Kayla Larson, who is looking to make a name for herself next year when she moves on top play softball at Mercyhurst College.

"After seeing a couple of their games, I definitely think I can handle and step in and succeed," said Larson. "It's not anything I can't handle."

Larson, along with fellow senior Alison Benz, who is be heading to Gannon next fall, recently signed her letter of intent at a ceremony held at Mt. Mercy Academy earlier this week.

After a long process, Larson is glad she can now focus just on softball and not where she is headed to college.

"I started off by just showcasing in general, like at camps and different tournaments," said Larson after she signed her letter. "One day after a tournament, Mercyhurst contact me for a tour of the school and I fell in love with it and I talked to a coach and everything kind of panned out from there."

Besides falling in love with the school, Larson also noted the academics, especially the strong bio program the school has to offer.

"It was pretty much a combination of both [academics and athletics], she said. "They have a really strong bio program and a really strong softball program and the fact that I could have the best of both worlds was the best."

With winning the title last season, Larson said it put a lot of focus on the team, which then brought more colleges to watch and scout the players.

"It definitely drew people here," she said. "Every time they see Mt. Mercy Academy they [colleges] are going to say oh they were champions and they are going to follow us."

Larson went on to say, however, that none of this would be possible if it wasn't for the people at Mt. Mercy Academy.

The academy helps mold young girls in to young women by the time they leave the academy in four years.

"They tough me how to balance academics and athletics," Larson said. "The kind of instilled to work hard and stay true to myself and make sure that I am confident enough on the field."

Added Mt. Mercy Principal Margaret Staszak. "I would like to congratulate both Alison and Kayla for their academic and accomplishments while attending Mt. Mercy Academy. Alison and Kayla are both bright, talented, determined young women, who will find great success in college and in life beyond. These young women exemplify the type of students that Mt. Mercy Academy produces. We are very proud to call them women of Mercy."

With the signing behind her, Larson can now focus on keeping the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association title in South Buffalo.

"It definitely takes all the pressure off," she said. "Grant it, I am still going to go out there and work hard, and make sure we try and defend that title. It definitely takes off most of the pressure."

"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

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