By Chardonnae Parker/Delta News Editor

No student ever wants to hear that the place where they believed they would excel in sports and get their degree would be closing, but for students at Wentworth Military Academy and College that nightmare became a reality.

On April 7, 2017 all the student-athletes at Wentworth, in Lexington, were called into the gym and informed by their coaches the school would be closing at the end of the semester.

According to a letter the on the school’s website: “We regret to inform you that Wentworth Military Academy and College will be closing on May 21, 2017, the end of this semester.” The letter concluded with apologies and signatures from the chairmen of the board of trustees and the college’s president at the time.

Erin Kelly, was a dual-sport athlete who played volleyball and basketball. She looked to her coaches to see what could and should be her next move, but admits she was stunned by the announcement.

“I already knew it was going to be bad news but when we got the news school would be closing, I was hurt,” Kelly said. “All I could do is cry, but now I am just excited to finally be closing my collegiate chapter.” 

Kelly said that during the summer she began to develop a plan of action.

“I realized all my college family was going to Missouri Valley College, so I knew that maybe Valley was worth giving a chance,” she said. “I committed to Missouri Valley College and as a dual-sport athlete and never looked back.”

Kelly is completing her degree in elementary education and said she would have never thought that Missouri Valley would be a home like it is to her now. Since transferring, Kelly has completed her four-year letter on Missouri valley College volleyball team.

“I was happy for her to come play for me again and at least be around her college family again. Now her next move is finishing her final season of basketball and get that degree,” said Pat Land, Kelly’s former basketball coach from Wentworth.

Although the path took some unexpected turns, Kelly said she is glad to have seen it through to the end.

“I will forever be grateful for Wentworth and Missouri Valley College.” Kelly said.