Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Kenzie Bradley is this year's Catasauqua Press Female Athlete of the Year. Copyright - Digital Media Magic Kenzie Bradley is this year's Catasauqua Press Female Athlete of the Year. Copyright - Digital Media Magic

Sports just part of Kenzie Bradley’s life

Friday, July 21, 2017 by jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Kenzie Bradley couldn’t imagine her life with sports. Since she was four, it has been a passion and an anchor in her life.

“I participate in anything I can,” said the soon-to-be senior at Catasauqua High School. “I started with T-ball and it has continued ever since. I just really enjoy playing something all the time. I really don’t need any breaks from sports.”

Wearing her heart on her sleeve, Bradley excelled in basketball, field hockey, and track for the Roughies this past season. As a result, she was chosen as the Catasauqua Press Female Athlete of the Year.

“I always work to do well,” she said in reference to the accolade. “I want to do my best all the time. With any type of honor, it assures me that I am doing what I should be doing out there.”

Bradley recalled her beginning in sports through T-ball and flag footballs. She also had a stint in wrestling from kindergarten through second grade.

She credits her desire and dedication to her father, Steve, and older brother, Zack, both of whom set the stage at an early age.

“My dad basically had me do everything my brother did,” chuckled Bradley. “I was always hanging out with my brother and his friends. Jacob Rusnock is a good friend of my brother, and the Rusnocks got me started in wrestling.

“I remember my first three matches and I won all of them. I was wrestling kids who were bigger than me, but it was fun. There were plenty of good moments and I owe them to my brother and dad.

“When I was younger, all of my friends were guys and going to my older brother’s games inspired me.”

Older brother Zack, who is currently entering his senior year as a quarterback at Franklin and Marshall College, knew his sister would have an edge and an advantage.

“Kenzie grew up playing sports around me and my friends and that’s what makes her so tough and competitive,” said the older Bradley. “She always has been a better natural athlete than me.

“Ever since she was little, Kenzie always has been very talented. She used to wrestle and play football, both of which give her an edge both physically and mentally over other girls. Kenzie was my throwing dummy in high school and she can throw a football a country mile and can catch everything as well. She would play in the backyard with me and my friends. Kenzie is a very strong-minded and determined competitor.”

“I always said she is a better athlete than Zack,” added her father. “Kenzie had a lot of drive and a lot of natural skill and talent. She is taking advantage of everything and probably can still achieve more.”

Bradley briefly played soccer, but quickly shifted her attention to basketball. Since the second grade, basketball has been primary focus. This past winter, Bradley was the team’s leading scorer from a guard position and looks to build on her contributions next year. The girls’ basketball team started promising this past year, but they struggled down the stretch due to a number of factors and finished 4-18.

“I started playing and I love it,” said Bradley about basketball. “I wish we could have won more games this past year. But I still go out there and play my game. I don’t mind being a leader out there and I know I will have to step up my game this winter.”

Head girls’ basketball coach Ed Seidick sees Bradley as being ready to take the next step.

“She is a pure athlete who is extremely talented,” said Seidick of Bradley. “She is maturing as a leader and the younger girls look up to her. She competes at a level than most kids can’t do. From her freshman year to now, she has made many strides.”

Over the past two years, Bradley has excelled as a key member of the track team’s successful district and league champion 4 X100 relay team, and she also is raising her stock in the long jump.

“Track is my favorite sport right now and it is still new to me,” said Bradley, who shelved softball for track in her freshman year. “It has pushed me harder because I am really competing against myself. But I can show myself and others what I can do out there. It is really invigorating on the track with my teammates or trying a jump.

“It really has opened a new door for me.”

Along with basketball and track, Bradley has competed in field hockey, one sport she initially thought would be troublesome.

“I really didn’t like soccer, so I figured I would try field hockey,” she said. “I felt that I couldn’t play it at first, but my brother’s ex-girlfriend played and showed me some things. I have enjoyed it.”

In all, Bradley has enjoyed being a big fish in a small pond and wouldn’t trade her situation playing in Catasauqua. She is looking at colleges and would like to pursue a degree in math or science.

“If you are good enough at what you do, people will notice you and find you,” she said. “I really like my brother’s college.

“But growing up in Catty has been special. I wouldn’t trade it. I have enjoyed every moment and all of the people in my life.”

The Catty faithful also has enjoyed watching her.