It all adds up for Spartan Coursey

It all adds up for Spartan Coursey

ST. JOSEPH — The accolades Andrea Coursey sports are impressive.

And that isn’t even focusing on her standout softball accomplishments.

The St. Joseph-Ogden senior is the valedictorian in her class. The future marketing major at Illinois State will carry a 4.44 grade-point average into SJ-O’s graduation ceremony Sunday at the high school.

She has never earned anything other than an A in a class. Ever. And she scored a 30 on her ACT.

“Not too many people enjoy school and enjoy working hard at it,” Coursey said, “but it’s something I’ve always enjoyed, probably even more so than sports.”

What she’s accomplished on the softball diamond the past four years, though, is almost equally as impressive as what she’s accomplished in the classroom.

SJ-O’s third baseman the last four years set the state record for career RBI — she now has 238 going into Saturday’s 11 a.m. Class 2A regional title game in Georgetown between SJ-O (30-4) and Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman (23-10) — earlier this month, pushing past the previous record of 231 established by Nashville’s Shaye Harre from 2010 to 2013.

“She’s been a mainstay for us,” SJ-O coach Randy Wolken said. “She’s always been right in the middle of the lineup, batting three or four all these years. You really feel confident that she’s going to hit people in.”

Coursey burst onto the area scene in 2014, hitting .482 with two home runs and 47 RBI as a freshman. She then delivered even more in 2015, when SJ-O placed fourth in Class 2A state, by hitting .484 with nine home runs and an area-best 73 RBI.

Last year was more of the same, with an uptick in batting average (.548) and home runs (15) while again leading the area with 72 RBI.

Because of the previous standards Coursey has set, this season may seem like a down one, but she’s still hitting .506 with five home runs and 46 RBI.

“Since we have such powerful hitters this year that bring in runs, I don’t really get the same opportunity, which is nothing to complain about,” Coursey said. “If that’s your biggest complaint, then your season is going pretty well. For me, it’s not really the numbers. This year, we’re winning and having a good season. That’s all that matters to me.”

SJ-O has already clinched its 15th season of at least 30 wins under Wolken, and the Spartans will aim for their ninth straight regional title Saturday.

Coursey, who moved to St. Joseph in fourth grade from Indiana, is well-versed on what the program has accomplished before and during her high school career, which also included her playing a feature role on SJ-O’s volleyball team that finished second in state last November, compiling 791 assists as the Spartans’ setter.

“It’s a great program to be a part of and to play for Coach Wolken is an honor,” Coursey said. “To know I can leave having left something of a mark is nice. Going into this year, the (career RBI) record was something I was aware of, but it definitely wasn’t something I was focusing on.”

Making sure she leaves SJ-O with four regional titles in her career, and possibly helping SJ-O make another run to the state tournament in East Peoria after the Spartans reached the Elite Eight last season, is her sole focus right now.

“I’ve had a lot of good ballplayers through the years, and she’s in the top number of girls that I’ve had,” Wolken said. “Everything is important with what she’s done. She’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of person.”