Monday May 6, 2013Florida Softball Senior Kelsey Horton Named to SEC Community Service Team
Gator softball senior outfielder Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) capped off graduation weekend and a SEC regular-season championship Monday with 2013 SEC Community Service Team honors, her second consecutive year picking up the league honor for her dedication to the UF and Gainesville communities.
Just Sunday, Horton received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Nutritional Sciences.
UF’s 2012-13 SAAC Vice President, Horton was named one of Florida’s 2013 SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award nominees, thus earning a $5K post-graduate scholarship. Horton, a 2012 Capital One Academic All-American, has been admitted to Auburn University Pharmacy School and will continue her education there in the fall. A three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree, Horton is also one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, which takes into account Classroom, Character, Community Service and Competition accomplishments.
In the Gainesville and surrounding community may be where Horton’s impact is most felt. Horton, a 2012 All-SEC and NFCA All-Southeast Region second-team selection, leads the UF softball team this year in community service hours, having clocked nearly 30. She was named to the 2012 SEC Community Service Team and also served as the Community Service Chair for the UF SAAC. Among her individual hours of service, Kelsey has volunteered locally at the Gainesville March of Dimes office, while also frequenting Gainesville’s Shands Hospital Pediatrics Department. On campus, Horton has taken part in a number of activities organized by UF’s Goodwill Gators program, including UF’s Climb for Cancer Sports Camp, Gator Tracks holiday gift wrapping party and UF’s Thanksgiving food drive. She volunteered at the St. Francis House and assisted with set up and execution of the HCHD Back to School Fair.
As a team, Horton and the Gators have taken part in several different service events, including two Alachua County Special Olympics softball games, organizing Thanksgiving food baskets at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, while also helping with the Gator Diamond Club Annual Golf Tournament and much more.
Horton additionally serves as UF’s contact for Friends of Jaclyn, which matches children with brain tumors to high school and college athletic teams to provide support and spread awareness of brain tumors. The Gators adopted Heather Braswell in 2008 and she’s continued to be an honorary member of UF’s team. Horton organized a Swing for the Cure event in Fall 2012 involving a number of different UF student-athletes who came together on the softball diamond to raise awareness for cancer in general, the March of Dimes and Friends of Jaclyn.
Horton helped lead the Gators to the 2013 SEC regular-season championship this year, UF’s fourth all-time SEC Championship, as the Orange and Blue also claimed the league titles in 1998, 2008 and 2009. Florida solidified the No. 1 seed in the upcoming SEC Softball Tournament May 8-11 in Lexington, Ky., and will play the winner of Alabama/Texas A&M to open SEC Tournament play May 9. Should the Gators advance, they would play the winner of the LSU/Georgia contest May 10 in the tournament semi-final round. UF is 49-7 overall on the campaign as it heads to the postseason next week in Lexington, just one win shy of the fifth 50-win season in Florida history.
Horton ranks first in the SEC overall with 10 sacrifice bunts and first through conference play with her five sac bunts, including a league-best two in a game versus Auburn. Her 32 walks drawn rank in the top 10 in the SEC and third on the UF squad. The Gator right fielder checks in third for Florida with eight bombs on the year.
Fans can vote for Horton for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award through May 13 on the Senior CLASS Award website or via the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.
2013 SEC COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM (full SEC release here)
Ryan Iamurri, Junior, Alabama
Hope McLemore, Senior, Arkansas
Baylee Stephens, Senior, Auburn
Kelsey Horton, Senior, Florida
Maya Branch, Senior, Georgia
Kara Dill, Senior, Kentucky
Allison Falcon, Junior, LSU
Brittany Broome, Senior, Ole Miss
Jessica Cooley, Senior, Mississippi State
Chelsea Thomas, R-Senior, Missouri
Julie Sarratt, R-Sophomore, South Carolina
Melissa Brown, Senior, Tennessee
Allison Garrett, Junior, Texas A&M