Whaley parlays prep career into pact with King

By Rebecca Pierson
STAR Staff

   On Monday, Happy Valley's Terra Whaley became the sixth signee to join King College's newly re-instated softball team.
   Terra has led the team this year in hits (44), doubles (8), RBIs (44) and was the only player to record a triple, which she did twice. She held a .393 batting average for this season, and .350 for her four years as a Warrior.
   "I just think it will be great to be one of the first players there," Terra said. "I am going to go up there and try my hardest. It is new and it is fresh, and you don't have that competition behind you to live up to. It's going to be great."
   Terra also played basketball, but said she probably won't at King. She said she is interested in King's nursing and psychology program, but is undecided as to what she will major in.
   She also said that King was the perfect place for her because of the smaller campus and the location.
   "It is only 30 minutes away, and it will be easy to go back and forth from home," she said. "I didn't want to go far away. The small college life will be better than a bigger school. The ratio between students and teachers is small, and I like that. I will get a better education that way."
   Terra gives credit to the great coaching she has had to raise her to this level.
   "My coaches here were great," she said. "They have taught me a lot in the last four years. Even my middle school coach [Mike Dorsey] taught me a lot my eighth-grade year that I brought with me to Happy Valley.
   "Taking what I have learned here in high school to college is a lot. All my basics, all my fundamentals, everything I have learned here will help me in college."
   Happy Valley head coach Karri Killen said that the credit for her successful high school career should go to Terra herself.
   "I am really excited for her," Killen said. "It is a brand new program up there, and I am excited that she gets to be a part of it. Terra is a great athlete, a great student and a great kid. She likes the smaller schools, and I think she will be able to really help them out.
   "Coming in as a freshman, it is about gaining experience," she said. "She has improved athletically, and as an individual. She has prospered into the tremendous athlete she is now. I wish her the best of luck. I am sure she will do well. She has the ability. She has worked hard, and she deserves everything that she gets."
   King College had a softball program in place in 1991, only to dump the program in 1995. With King currently expanding its student population and its other athletic programs, the school made the decision to bring softball back.
   King head softball coach Debbie Cutshall said that she expects her team to surprise people because of the great talent she is recruiting who wants to jump on the new program. She said it is obvious why she would want Terra at King as an outfielder.
   "She is a good player," Cutshall said. "I know that Happy Valley has a strong softball program. Karri does a good job with them on fundamental skills.
   "Terra is a good student, and she has a great attitude. That is important to me as a coach to have a good attitude and good work ethic. Academically, King is a strong school and I have to recruit good students too.
   "I expect us to do really well. I am getting good high school players and have been recruiting some junior college players. I would like to be in the top five and have over .500 winning percentage. I think that is a realistic goal. Obviously, every coach wants to win the conference, but a top five is more realistic."