Athletics News

TFS Legend: Ariel Kelsick


Coming to Tallulah Falls from St. George, Antigua some 1,600 miles away, Ariel Kelsick quickly made a new home for herself and has left a lasting impression.

Kelsick is largely responsible for the success the girls tennis program has had each of the past two years. Her dominant play atop the singles lineup guided the Lady Indians to back-to-back Region Championships. With great footwork and precision, complemented with a great serve, she has come up aces for TFS. Her love for tennis can be traced back to well over a decade ago.

“I have been playing tennis for about 12 years, but the early years were recreational,” says Kelsick. “My earliest memory that I have of when I fell in love with the sport was in a 10U, red-ball tournament. It was one of the first tournaments that I had ever played. Though it was with a mini net on one-half of the court, I felt just as big as the older kids I used to watch.”

That experience fueled her passion for tennis. Since coming to TFS, she asserted herself as the top singles player from the get-go. Kelsick racked up 15 wins in each of her two years on campus, and lifted the Lady Indians to their first-ever Elite 8 in 2023 and first Region Championship in 23 years. Her 30 singles wins ranks first all-time, though current teammate Jaeda-Lee Daniel-Joseph tied her win total and still has two years left. 

“It has been a great opportunity for me to play at Tallulah, and I continue to be grateful that I have been able to make an impact here in terms of the records that I have set,” says Kelsick. “Though I have only been here for two seasons, I was able to grow both on the court and in terms of the connections I have made with my teammates who I hope will continue to grow as well.”

Kelsick, for her efforts, was named Region 8-A DI Singles Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons among other accolades. Those records and accolades for Kelsick are meaningful, but she has relished the opportunity to be with others that help elevate her as a player and person.

“My time at TFS has fostered a space that I am able to learn about myself and learn from others,” adds Kelsick. “Something that has been especially meaningful to me is being able to meet people who have challenged me and encouraged me to be better. I will miss seeing the people that I spent almost everyday with.”

Kelsick is committed to East Stroudsburg University (Pennsylvania), where she will continue her tennis and academic career.

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