Kelly Delaney’s Jersey Gets Retired at CMHS

Photo: Soon to be joining the array of retired jerseys is Lady Blue Devils number 8, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Kelly Delaney (right), who worked with Coach Anne Scott (left) to help the volleyball team earn the state title in 2016. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

The storied halls of Calais Middle High School will soon receive a new addition due to the permanent retirement of Kelly Delaney’s Lady Blue Devils jersey. The retirement of the jersey, which is number 8, was announced during the high school graduation held earlier this month. Delaney’s jersey will be joining the fourteen other jerseys that have been retired by the school in recognition of previous highly accomplished athletes.

“It feels great,” said Delaney. “All the hard work paid off.” Delaney said that during her time at Calais High School she has learned a lot from everyone on her team. “We learned how to push through when times were tough and how to support each other positively.”

“She’s a phenomenal athlete,” said volleyball coach Anne Scott. “She is talented, but she doesn’t let it go to her head. She works just as hard as everybody.” Scott praised Delaney for her ability to own her mistakes, which she said contributed to the other members of the team owning their mistakes, too. “It gave a sense to the team that everybody should own mistakes and everybody should work together.”

Now that she has proven her capability at the high school level, and played in national tournaments on her club volleyball team, Delaney will be taking her skills to Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. The college’s coach had previously recruited Delaney after watching her play during club volleyball games. Delaney visited the campus last October and was impressed with the college’s commitment to academics at the same time as sports. She will be enrolling in the biology program in pursuit of the pre-med path with a goal of becoming a chiropractor, veterinarian, or general practitioner. 

“I’m a little nervous about taking a science course and playing sports at the same time,” admitted Delaney. However, Delaney has demonstrated her academic aptitude and was the recipient of a $500 Holmes Fund scholarship from CMHS. Despite her slight nervousness, Delaney is very much looking forward to returning to a city environment more similar to the Dallas area she grew up in. “I’m looking forward to going to lots of restaurants,” Delaney shared. “There’s a lot more things to do there than there are here, and there are beaches!” Once she attains her professional degree, Delaney plans to practice in Portland, Boston, New Hampshire, or Canada. 

“I think Kelly will bring to her Johnson and Wales team what she brought to this team,” said Coach Scott, expressing her confidence that Delaney will continue to do well in her sports career. “She’s a player who knows her game, loves her game, and plays it to the best of her ability with the team that she’s with, not as a single player.”

Having a jersey retired at CMHS requires that the player makes All-State in their class every year they are a varsity player, and player of the year at least twice. The requirements were changed earlier this year by Athletic Director Randy Morrison because the previous requirements were prohibitive to baseball, softball, and volleyball players. “One rule for every sport does not work,” explained Coach Scott.

Calais has been the launching pad for many successful student-athletes, including many volleyball players. Coach Scott said that many high school players go on to play collegiate volleyball, some of which she’s taken her team to – including one game in which a former Calais player was on each side. One former player, Katie Clapham, has had her jersey retired at Maine Maritime Academy for her success on the team.

Previous CMHS students that have had their jerseys retired are: Nicholas Hallowell, wrestling; Madison McVicar, basketball; Spencer McCormick, wrestling; Scott Carpenter, wrestling; Nicole Osborne, volleyball; Brandon Tomah, basketball; Nanci Feck, volleyball; Lanna Martin, basketball; Katie Frost, golf; James Frost, golf; Holli Tapley, basketball; Kelly Dow, basketball; David Roussel, soccer; Bobby Campbell, basketball.