Courtney Harris, an Osawatomie senior, signs a national letter of intent to play softball at Central Christian College. Pictured with Courtney are (from left) mother Candice Gragg, Central Christian College coach Aaron Annis, sister Rayann Gragg and stepfather Jimmy Harper.

OSAWATOMIE — Courtney Harris has always had one constant during her journey from T-Ball to signing to play collegiate softball — her mother Candice Gragg.

Harris is headed to Central Christian College in McPherson, Kan., to play softball.

Harris, a senior at Osawatomie High School, signed a national letter of intent with Central Christian at the school on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

She started playing softball in T-Ball and has had a glove in her hand ever since.

“From the first time I started T-Ball, my mother, Candice Gragg has been my No. 1 supporter,” Courtney said. “Every weekend she was at the ball fields for 12 or more hours a day and she took me to practice two or three times a week.”

Harris was a Tri-County Spotlight Softball Team honorable mention selection at infield.

Harris hit .407 ith 24 base hits. She had five doubles. Harris had 18 putouts with 38 assists. She had a fielding percentage of .903.

In addition to playing for the Lady Trojans, Harris played on the Bandits summer team.

During one of her games, coach Aaron Annis of Central Christian saw Harris and began recruiting her to play third base.

Harris is part of the Central Christian Tigers 2020 “building the future” recruiting class.Harris started playing T-Ball, played all through recreational softball programs, summer teams and the Osawatomie High School program. Next year, she will make the leap to collegiate softball.

“I have played traveling softball since I was 6 years old,” Harris said. “I really enjoy the game and the competition.”She has been blessed with some great coaches along the way.. Coach Allen Neal is one of them, Harris said.

“Coach Neal for my high school team has helped me tremendously,” she said. “He always knew what I was capable of doing and pushed me to do better.

“Coach Neal has always been the person I could go to with any problems I was having,” Harris said. “He would help me fix it that day.”

Playing college softball has always been the dream, Harris said. It has been a long journey.

“There were a few moments I didn’t think I would make it to the college level to play softball,” Harris said. “It is so exciting to know I will be going to college to play softball. This is everything I wanted since I was a little girl.”

Courtney is the daughter of Candice Gregg and Jimmy Harper.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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