Crossland does it all for St. Mary’s Colgan
Kaitlin Crossland is an All-State athlete in three different sports for the Panthers.
PITTSBURG, Kan. – Kaitlin Crossland does it all for the Colgan Panthers.
“If I was doing one thing all the time, I think that I would get pretty bored,” Crossland says.
Crossland is an All-State player in three different sports for Colgan.
“I get tired sometimes,” Crossland says with a laugh, “but I just have to remember how much fun I’m having and just be grateful that I’m able to play all the sports that I do.”
Crossland led the volleyball team in assists in the fall, helping the Panthers claim a sub-state championship.
She finished the season with 414 assists, 204 kills and 191 digs – earning 1st team All-CNC and 2nd team All-State recognition.
“We could play her as a hitter or a setter. She would have been an amazing libero for us,” says Colgan head volleyball coach Cathy Oplotnik on Crossland’s versatility, “She’s just very smart. She can read different things on the court and that just helps us out tremendously.”
On the basketball court she was the team MVP, averaging 10 points per game and a team-high 3.7 assists per game – earning 2nd team All-State honors from “Sports in Kansas.”
“She came into the program and she knew what she was capable of,” says Colgan head basketball coach Abby Farabi, “She rose to the occasion every season. No pressure is too much for her.”
“Right now she has 106 strikeouts in 10 starts for the Panthers softball team leading the Panthers to a 12-2 start.
“What we see is one very small side of Kaitlin Crossland,” says Annie Dellasega, Colgan head softball coach, “The side that no one else sees is what she does off the field and what she does when nobody is looking. That’s what makes her a great kid.”
She has the stats and the recognition – but Crossland brings more than numbers to each program.
“She’s definitely a leader,” Oplotnik says, “She does lead by example. She’s very intense. You want more people to have that competitive attitude.”
“She’s a great role model for everyone,” Farabi adds, “She’s really intelligent, she’s beautiful and she works hard in everything that she does. She’s very dedicated in all the things that she does.”
“Her teammates are elevating their game because of her,” Dellasega says, “They want to support her on the mound. Just…her leadership, that’s what drives her and drives our team to do better.”
Crossland hopes to claim a second softball state championship to close out her high school career this spring.
She was the Kansas 2A softball Player of the Year in 2019 after leading the Panthers to a state title.
“I want it so bad. I don’t think there’s anything more I want right now,” Crossland says, “I’m just working hard for it every single day. I’m trying to push my teammates so we can get there. It’s such a cool experience. I’ve obviously had experience winning state before, and I just want to feel that feeling again.”
Even without another title,she has already left her mark at Colgan – and made an impact that will last even after she’s gone.
“I don’t know that you can replace her,” Farabi says, ” but I think the other kids are going to feed off what she did, for all the programs, and hopefully it’s a domino effect.”
“What she’s learned from sports, I know that she’s going to carry it over to every other aspect of her life,” Dellasega finishes, “That determination and her ability to win. It’s just going to look a little different for her from now on. Now it’s going to look like getting the grade in the class and getting the job that she wants and being whatever she wants to be, because she’s going to be great at whatever she does.”
Crossland plans to go to college at Arkansas and be a pre-med student after graduation.
“It’s sad when I think about it,” Crossland says of her athletics career coming to a close, “I’m moving on to a new chapter of my life. I hope to still be involved in sports, whether it’s intramural or club sports. It’s said, but it’s kind of time for me to move on, I think.”