Robertson repeats as top athlete
For the past four years, one of Kelly Robertson's biggest inspirations wasn't just one of her parents, he roamed the sidelines throughout her career at Parkland High School too.
William, Kelly's father, has been one of her biggest supporters during her high school years. As Robertson's jumping coach during the track and field season, he has helped her achieve countless awards and records along the way.
Robertson, who will attend Penn State University in the fall and continue her volleyball career, put together a solid senior year that included volleyball championships in leagues and districts, while also finishing as state runner-ups. In the triple jump, Robertson finished first at leagues with a personal record of 37 feet, 11 inches. She placed second in districts and fifth in states.
For her accomplishments, Robertson was recently named the Parkland Press Female Athlete of the Year, a title she earned a year ago as well.
"It was never something that was in the back of my mind all throughout the year," said Robertson of the award. "It's a bonus to all the hard work that my teammates and my coaches have helped me with. It's just a really nice honor.
"I think it made my dad and I a lot closer. Sometimes having a parent as a coach can be a little bit deadly. But I think it was one of the best experiences I've had through high school, which was having my dad there for me."
The athletic part of her high school years often got brought up at home. The two would talk about how to make improvements and adjustments. There would be talks on both sides of the pendulum, when she endured both her successes and struggles.
But William Robertson was never afraid to shy away if he saw ways of helping his daughter improve. His daughter would be the first to tell you she wouldn't want it any other way.
"My dad has never been one, no matter what sport it was, if I didn't perform well, he would never go home and tell me 'eh you're fine,'" said Kelly Robertson. "He'd tell me when I did bad and he'd tell me when I did good.
"I would never want anyone to sugarcoat it because that only sets me back."
While track and field is more of an individual sport, Robertson gives her father just as much credit as herself for what she's accomplished as a Trojan.
"Some kids can be the best jumpers in the world, but if they don't have good technique they can't be as good as they could potentially be," she said. "It's very technical, especially in the high jump and the triple jump, which were my two events. If it wasn't for him I would've never been able to do what I was able to do.
Robertson's high school volleyball career ended with a senior season that included 548 kills, 144 digs, 93 total blocks (67 solo), and 43 aces. She was named the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year, Under Armour First-Team All-American, and Mizuno Volleyball All-American, along with a number of other recognitions for her success.
While one chapter of her life has ended, another is just getting started. What has helped her get to that point has been her numerous coaches at Parkland.
"I probably could not have asked for any better coaching with all of my sports that I played in high school," said Robertson. "It was all really healthy relationships, and, in fact, also made team chemistry a lot better, which can sometimes be the difference between good teams and great teams."
She's been at Penn State for over a month now as she prepares for the next phase of her volleyball career. There's been plenty of practice thus far. Robertson and the Nittany Lions will get their preseason started shortly in preparation for the upcoming season that begins on August 30-31 at the Penn State Invitational.