Bel Air High School senior Brooke Kelly is taking her athletic and education talents north.
Kelly has signed to attend and play lacrosse at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
“So, at first it was just for lacrosse, I was doing a prospect day. Then, after looking at the school, after I liked the prospect day and the coaches, I looked more into the school and it had what I wanted,” Kelly said. “Small classes and when I went there, I could tell the team was really close and they acted like one big family, which I really liked.”
Kelly has no connection to Slippery Rock as neither mom Lori or late father John “Scoop” Kelly II attended the Division II school that sits 35 miles or so north of Pittsburgh.
“No, it was like out of the blue. It was like, I was in the recruiting process, so I was going to as many prospect days and clinics as possible and they just mass email a lot of people, come to our prospect day and I was like, I’ll guess I’ll do it and I just fell in love,” Kelly said.
At Slippery Rock, Kell said she plans to study early education and special education.
Dad was an educator, while her mother is not.
Slippery Rock was not the first choice for Kelly, but some others just weren’t the right fit.
“At first I was very interested in Coastal Carolina, because I like the beach and stuff, but after going there, I realized, I don’t like the coach, she was too, nice and I did not like the teammates,” Kelly recalled. “When I was with them, they would talk bad about each other. That automatically was a red flag, did not want to go there.”
Kelly also looked into a pair of others in Pennsylvania.
“I also liked York College, but that was Division III, so I kind of wanted to go Division II and it didn’t stick out as much,” she said. “I also looked into Shippensburg and they also, their team didn’t seem like it had the drive to be better, so I did not like that as much.”
So, Kelly chose “The Rock.”
“I would probably say, just the team chemistry there and how all the girls, when I watched them do their lifting, how they all pushed each other and encouraged each other,” Kelly said about her choice.
“And I also think that academically, I could succeed in that school because the class sizes are so small. I have an IEP and I like to have small classes so I can have extra help,” Kelly added. “And I believe that if I work hard enough, I could have a lot of playing time and really improve the team.”
At Bel Air and on her True Lacrosse club team, Kelly takes draws and plays attack and midfield.
Kelly says the Slippery Rock coach liked her draw abilities, but she’s not sure where she might play in college. “I guess it will just matter how I play when I get there,” she said.
Kelly says she’s been playing lacrosse since she was 5 or 6 years old, but is wasn’t a game that she really liked.
“I think that when he [Scoop] was alive, I didn’t really like lacrosse and it was pretty much once he died, I kind of used it to remember him. And I actually fell in love with the sport,” Kelly said. “When he was alive, I pretty much just did it cause I had to. I didn’t like it, I wasn’t very good.”
Scoop Kelly passed away in February of 2014. He coached boys lacrosse at Bel Air High school for many years and he was also a part owner and director of Tribe Lacrosse.
Brooke Kelly was bound to love the game, it was in her blood.
“Then, once I fell in love with it, I got better. I actually enjoyed practicing at home, so I got better for the team,” Kelly said. “Probably, because he got so many other boys to go play college, he’d probably want me to.”
Kelly plays club lacrosse for True Lacrosse and she played formerly for Wolfpack, which was purchased by True.
It was playing with the True Lacrosse National Team that Kelly thinks she grabbed the attention of Slippery Rock.
The email about Slippery Rock’s prospect day came after that national event, which took place in the summer leading to Kelly’s junior year at Bel Air.
So, the big question lingering for Kelly is will there be a high school season?
“I was really looking forward to last season, because I had the chance to play with really strong players like Maggi Hall (Florida) and Anna McQuay (Mt. St. Mary’s),” Kelly said. “But since they’re not here this year, I was hoping to be more of the strong player that other people can look up to and follow. So, I hope we have our season or at least a modified season.”