On the off chance that Grand Valley State University women’s lacrosse coach Alicia Groveston decides not to start Chelsey Bishop next year, don’t expect Bishop to remain on the sidelines for long.
The strong-willed and ultra-competitive Saline High School senior’s dad said Bishop doesn’t rest when she has a goal in mind.
“She puts her mind to something and doesn’t let up until it’s done,” said Brett Bishop last week when Chelsey signed a letter of intent to play for Grand Valley. “Tell her she won’t start because she’s too young. She will keep at it and keep at it until she accomplishes her goal.”
Bishop will receive a partial scholarship and study exercise science. She is planning a career as a personal trainer.
More than a dozen schools expressed interest and she visited several colleges before choosing Grand Valley.
“Coach Groveston was the best coach I met. The campus is really nice. And the teammates created an atmosphere that made me excited about joining,” Bishop said.
Bishop said the Grand Valley coaching staff likes her hard-working attitude.
“They were interested in me for awhile. They give me a list of things they wanted to see from me. They told me I accomplished those things and that they like my work ethic,” Bishop said.
One of the things the Grand Valley coaches requested was that Bishop learn to shoot left-handed.
“It wasn’t easy for me. It was challenging because I’ve always been a right-handed shooter,” Bishop said. “But I worked on it.”
Bishop is one of Michigan’s most prolific goal scorers. As a sophomore she led the state in scoring with 104 goals – the third most goals ever scored in MHSAA girls’ lacrosse history.
Bishop’s coaches say she’s more than a goal scorer, though.
Marissa Kowalczuk, coach of A2LAX, met Bishop three years ago.
“She’s highly committed to the sport and that’s why collegiate coaches are interested in her,” said Kowalczuk. “She’s a phenomenal athlete and she’s going to have an awesome freshman year.”
Kowalczuk made reference to Bishop’s 21.5 inch vertical jump. Bishop, however, said it’s more like 23 inches, these days. She employs her leaping ability with her patented Chelsey Bishop goal, where she starts behind the net, circles out front, and then fires it into the goal while mid-air.
Few people have seen that goal more often than Saline girls’ lacrosse coach Deb Elliot.
“Chelsey has worked hard from day one. She’s come a long way and been a great asset to the program the whole time,” Elliot said. “She’s going to be one of the captains this year and I am looking forward to having her in that role.”
Bishop joined lacrosse in her freshman year, which was the first time Saline High School offered the sport to girls. Bishop never gave the sport much thought until she went to watch one of her Ann Arbor soccer friend play lacrosse one day. When she found out Saline was offering lacrosse, she decided to play.
As a freshman, she realized she had talent and began to work at it.
And like her dad Brett said, when she sets her mind to something, she keeps at it until it’s done. In this case, the goal was becoming one of the best girls' lacrosse players in the state.
“She works in the yard. She does weight training on her own. It’s amazing the work she does on her own without a word from us,” he said. “She’s incredibly driven.”
With her college plans finalized, Bishop now looks forward to her senior year with the Hornets.
“I’d like to see us go deeper in the districts this year,” Bishop said.