LAFAYETTE — There is respecting what your family does. There is being heavily influenced by it. And then, in the case of Allison Ebersole, there is completely emulating it.
But who could blame her?
The Centaurus senior is following her family’s footsteps in more ways than one. She officially signed Friday to play soccer at Hesston College in Kansas, where her father, Ken Ebersole, was a multi-sport athlete and, later, a coach. He now coaches the boys soccer team at Centaurus.
Allison Ebersole’s aunt and uncle also attended Hesston, and her mother, Meredith, was a college soccer player at Penn State. Allison also is a four-year letter winner for the volleyball team, but stuck with the family’s primary sport.
“We would have been happy for her either way,” Ken Ebersole said.
For awhile, it appeared volleyball was going to be her focus, as she developed into a fierce outside hitter. But after scoring 10 goals as a junior, her objectives began to shift.
“It was definitely tough, because volleyball had been my number one sport,” Allison Ebersole said. “Last season I had a rough start going into soccer, but coming out I was really happy about it. That’s when things started to change.”
Hesston College coach Bryan Kehr made the seven-hour drive to attend Ebersole’s signing at the school, and is thrilled to have her. Ebersole visited the Kehr and his Larks squad once as a junior and again over Thanksgiving break, when she decided it was a can’t-miss fit.
“I followed the stats on MaxPreps, and I think the first three games last year she had four goals,” Kehr said. “Our team struggled to score, so I was like, we need her get her to come help make us better. We think that she’s going to do that.”
Ebersole joins a college pipeline that also includes Shanlie Anderson (Northern Colorado) and Danelle Dondelinger (CSU-Pueblo) from recent Warriors squads. Centaurus girls soccer coach Mario Bezzina knows he gets to keep Ebersole for one more spring, but he can already tell Hesston what type of athlete is on the way.
“She always brings a positive energy and it transmits to her teammates,” Bezzina said. “That’s something that she is going to take with her, because that’s part of her personality.”
Ebersole’s parents and brother, Ryan, who plays club lacrosse for the University of New Mexico, all gathered around as she officially inked her letter of intent to join the Larks. Now she can enjoy her final high school soccer season without the stress of recruiting.
Hesston is a two-year college that competes in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. In addition to playing soccer, Ebersole aims to study to become an athletic trainer. It all begins in about nine months.
“I think I’m ready,” she said.
Follow Paul on Twitter: twitter.com/PaulWillis21