North Attleborough High School (NAHS) Senior Kelly Colleran lives and breathes softball.
She led the Red Rocketeers to the round of 16 in the Division II state tournament last season, fired two perfect games this spring, and was named the 2023 Hockomock League MVP.
In recognition of her talent, she was officially named the Gatorade Massachusetts Softball Player of the Year.
Colleran received the award on June 9, making her the second athlete in NAHS history to achieve this feat. Her sister, Megan Colleran (2014), was the first to earn the award.
“I’m very grateful to be recognized,” Colleran said. “Sports taught me a lot of life lessons, and softball gave a lot back to me as a kid.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
According to the Gatorade Company, Colleran was chosen based on her athletic ability, leadership and academic record.
As part of that honor, Colleran is donating $ 1,000 to the North Attleborough Travel Softball Association, a group that she considers “a part of her.”
“It feels nice to give back to the community I grew up in,” she said. “They give you something to work towards.”
Colleran’s coach Bill Wallace said he’s seen her grow as an athlete and a person. He said he could not wait to see what Colleran can do when she begins playing for the Boston University’s baseball team at the beginning of the fall semester.
“She’s been an amazing player for three years,” Wallace said. “The biggest growth I’ve seen with her is her leadership. There’s not a kid more deserving of this award than her.”
In addition to her softball career, Colleran has volunteered locally, raising money for cancer research and donating her time at a local food pantry and the Special Olympics.
Colleran’s father, Dennis Colleran, said he was proud of his daughter’s accomplishments and said she goes the extra mile in all aspects of her life.
“She worked really hard,” he said. “She did everything she needed to do to be the best she could be.”