Rudyard’s Jerzie Belleville signs to plays 2 sports at ACC
ALPENA — Jerzie Belleville was all set to stay in the Upper Peninsula for college.
But the draw of Alpena Community College was too big to ignore for the recent Rudyard High School graduate.
Belleville became the newest member of ACC’s girls basketball and softball programs on Wednesday when she signed her Letter of Intent.
“It means a lot, especially with these coaches,” Belleville said. “They’ve always been great since I’ve come here to visit the college and I just had a great connection with them.”
Belleville’s family also has ties to ACC athletics. Her sister Kylie signed a Letter of Intent with ACC’s softball program in 2014 and Belleville said that also factored into her decision.
This spring, Belleville, who played second base, was part of the Bulldogs’ run to the Division 4 state final. The Bulldogs won 28 games and won district and regional championships before losing to Unionville-Sebewaing in the final, 14-1.
“It was great. We started out the season with no one wanting to play us because we were doing so well. We had a little setback when we had to quarantine for COVID. We came back and came back stronger, played great, came back and had an amazing game in the semifinals,” Belleville said. “For the finals, the pitcher was just amazing and we couldn’t pull out the game, but the experience of going down there was amazing.”
Belleville is no stranger to success. In three years of varsity softball, Belleville was part of two Rudyard teams that won district and regional championships.
“I just think we have a lot of coaches and a lot of kids that are just willing to put in the work,” Belleville said.
But Belleville also gained a deeper appreciation for the game while at Rudyard, especially in 2020 when the season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
“You take for granted when you’re playing that you get the chance to play,” Belleville said. “Once you get a season taken away from you, you realize that you don’t take that for granted, that you will miss every second of it.”
On the basketball court, Belleville grew up in St. Ignace under the tutelage of longtime St. Ignace coaches Doug and Dorene Ingalls, as well as her father Dan, who coached her in AAU basketball.
With her Letter of Intent signed, Belleville has a busy schedule ahead. She joined the National Guard during her junior year of high school and will pursue studies in criminal justice, while also competing as a dual-sport athlete.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of work, a lot of hard work for sure,” Belleville said. “I’m excited for this next step and to push myself as hard as I can and just see what I have the ability to do with these coaches.”
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Jerzie Belleville is already in the National Guard. This was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.