St. C.’s Gillespie to play soccer at West Liberty

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – One of St. Clairsville’s most-decorated three-sport female athletes has chosen soccer over basketball and softball as her college sport.

Carlee Gillespie, a 4-year letterwinner in soccer for the Red Devils, will continue her athletic and academic careers at West Liberty University. The Hilltoppers will be competing in just their third season of varsity competition next fall. They were 6-11-1 last season.

“It’s a very friendly atmosphere,” Gillespie said of her choice. “It’s also close to home so that my family and friends will have an opportunity to continue to see me play.

“My dad is also a West Liberty graduate,” she added.

Gillespie was also pursued by Pitt-Johnstown, Ohio Valley University and Ohio Dominican University.

At St. Clairsville, the lightning-quick striker scored 71 career goals and added 35 assists to rank second in Red Devils history. She trails only Jaclyn Dutton who went on to Clemson University before transferring to Kent State where she was a MAC first-teamer as a junior.

“Jaclyn’s intensity and speed motivated me to try and follow in her foot steps,” Gillespie admitted. “I looked up to her, as did a lot of younger girls coming up back then.”

Gillespie was a two-time OVAC first team selection as a junior and senior. She was honorable mention as a freshman and second team as a sophomore. She was also first team All-Valley as a senior and second team as a junior.

Despite all of her accomplishments on the high school level, she knows she will have to work on certain areas of her game to play collegiately.

“I will have to work hard on my touches with the ball and have better accuracy with my shots,” she noted.

She said working hard is the key to everything.

“Giving 100 percent during practices and putting in the extra time in the gym or at the field trying to better my game,” she said. “It’s all about work ethic.”

In addition to her soccer feats, she has also scored more than 600 career points as a member of the Red Devils’ basketball team which is currently awaiting a Division III district semifinal contest later this week. She is a 3-year letterwinner on the basketball court and averages 12 points a game this season.

In softball, she was a first team all-district selection as a junior, as well as Buckeye 8 and OVAC first team picks.

She plans on majoring in mass communications.

In addition to her athletics, he is a 4-year member of Young Life, a 3-year member of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and a 2-year member of the Art and French clubs. She is also involved in the Ski Club, Culture Club, and Red Devil Crazies where she is the Red Devil mascot.

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com