BAR HARBOR — Two Mount Desert Island High School seniors celebrated more than a decade of hard work on the basketball court last week as they signed letters of intent to accept scholarships to play on college teams. Kelsey Shaw and Sierra Tapley have been training and playing together for many years, in middle and high school and also through Acadian Youth Sports and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams.
“These young ladies are excellent role models,” MDI Athletic Director Bunky Dow told the gathering in the school library Nov. 11. “They have worked extremely hard to get to this position, and we are very proud of them.”
Tapley is set to play for the University of Maine, a Division I program, beginning next year. Shaw is headed to Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass., a Division II school.
The pair traveled together to Portland at least twice a week to practices and games with their AAU team, the Maine Firecrackers, in the spring and summer. Dow noted that despite this rigorous schedule, both students took on honors classes, earned impressive GPAs and never missed or were late to school due to basketball.
“It’s a moment of pride and relief,” Tapley said, expressing gratitude for having had the chance to earn her college education through athletics.
Asked if it will be strange to meet on opposing teams in college games, Shaw grinned and said, “We face off against each other all the time.”
Preseason play for the MDI basketball team begins Saturday at the Lawrence Bulldog Classic, where they’ll face Winslow and Lawrence, and Tuesday at Hampden.