Kaskaskia Is Topp’s Top Choice

New Bremen’s Marissa Topp (center) signed with Kaskaskia College academically and will play softball athletically. Topp was accompanied by her parents, Rachel (mother, left) and Kurt (father), New Bremen Athletic Director Gary Jones and Cardinals softball coach Elly Puthoff.
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

Agriculture is a big part of Marissa Topp’s high school career as well as the only high school sport she plays, softball.

So Kaskaskia College offers both for the senior New Bremen catcher and that was good enough for her as she signed with the community college on Tuesday.

Kaskaskia College is a public community college in Centralia, Illinois and has an enrollment of about 5,000 students. The Blue Devils are a member of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference.

“I knew they had a good judging team and that their ag program is really, really good and really strong in that area,” Topp said. “So that’s where I wanted to study.”

Topp said the team felt like a family to her after practicing with them and enjoyed the coaching staff when she first met them

“Everyone was nice and welcoming and I knew that that is where I wanted to play,” she said.

Topp is a member of New Bremen’s FFA, which got her interested in the ag program. She said she won the State Dairy Evaluation Contest last April and she wanted to get into a post-secondary school and then a four-year school afterward so she could judge at the post-secondary level. She was also received a state degree at the FFA State Convention in May.

To earn their State FFA Degrees, these students must have earned $3,000 or spent $1,500 on their Supervised Agricultural Experience Project (SAE) along with the involvement in five or more FFA activities above the chapter level. The state degree is one step away from the highest degree, the American degree.

Topp said she was also looking into Wilmington College and Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, but Ohio State’s ag school did not have a softball program. The senior will study animal science and ag business.

“I can play anywhere,” Topp said. “I have caught the last two years, but I also like playing short.”

In her two varsity seasons, Topp has a .366 batting average with six triples, two home runs, 38 RBIs and 32 runs scored. Taking over behind the plate after Debbie Paul graduated, New Bremen has a 26-16 record with Topp as the catcher. She also finished with a .971 field percentage during her junior season.

“I definitely had some upperclassmen that I looked up to like (All-Ohio pitcher) Sophie Fox,” Topp said. “When I played in travel ball too, there were a bunch of leaders and I became one of those and I really enjoyed it.

“Being in that atmosphere has made me want to represent New Bremen as a leader.”