Lukes and coaches after signing

Kylee Lukes (center) signed a National Letter of Intent on Friday to play softball at Briar Cliff University. The Jefferson senior is pictured here with athletic director Steve Gee (left) and head softball coach Mark Peterson (right). Gee served as head coach of the varsity softball team when Lukes was a freshman and sophomore.

JEFFERSON — Kylee Lukes showed during her junior season that she had the power to play at the next level.

On Friday, the Jefferson High School softball standout made it official where she was going to take that power after her senior season.

Lukes signed a National Letter of Intent Friday afternoon to play softball at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa.

“I liked the atmosphere as soon as I walked in,” Lukes said regarding Briar Cliff. “It was just so positive, just smiles everywhere. No negativity, the coaches were outstanding and accepted me.”

As a junior, Lukes hit 12 home runs and was selected as the Rock Valley Conference Player of the Year.

“I expect the same thing as last year, for her to go up and give it her best,” Jefferson head coach Mark Peterson said regarding Lukes’ upcoming senior season.

“It would be hard to top what she did last year, but I think she’s got in her to be better honestly,” Peterson added.

Last season Lukes ended with a .466 batting average. She also batted in 36 runs and collected 43 runs.

The shortstop helped the Eagles to a 23-4 record and a 17-1 mark in the Rock Valley. Jefferson was defeated by Monroe in the regional final.

“This year I’m trying to lead us to state, last year we were on the verge,” Lukes said. “I take it very seriously. I try to be a leader for everyone and show them positivity and how to be one.”

Briar Cliff, nicknamed the Chargers, are affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

“She is very athletic and a tremendously hard worker,” Peterson said. “A lot of intense and high energy all the time. She never lets up. No matter what happens on the field.”

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