Dan Finnerty Contributing Writer
FHS Senior Tori Ensley recently accepted a softball scholarship from NC State University. While attending NC State, Ensley also hopes to pursue an undergraduate degree majoring in special education.
During her nearly three and a half years at FHS, Ensley was a three-sport star, garnering many awards at local, conference, regional, and state levels in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She has already been recognized as an All-Conference player in volleyball this year. In 2021-22 she was named to the High School All-Softball First Team, North Carolina Softball Coaches Association (NCSCA) All-State, All-Western NC (WNC) First Team, NCSCA District 8 Player of the Year, and Mountain 7 Conference Player of the Year. Last year, Ensley achieved the third highest homerun total in state history and second highest in regular season history (17 homeruns in 21 games played). She also now holds the FHS single season homerun record (12). Beyond softball, she was recognized in basketball last year as All-WNC 1st Team, All-State Honorable Mention selection, NC Basketball Coaches Association All-District 2nd Team, and was named to the All-Tournament Team after winning Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Ensley also holds multiple FHS basketball steals records.
“Tori is very humble and will not promote herself and I don’t say that lightly. She is a phenomenal athlete, no doubt, but an even better person,” said FHS Assistant Principal Blair King.
Ensley shared what made her choose NC State.
“Every time I step on campus, I just love how beautiful and big it is and I also love the softball program.” She also pointed out that last year, in the midst of breaking the FHS single-softball HR record, she could “really tell how much Franklin loved and supported me. And (that) will help push me in college because I know that I have people back home rooting for me.”
Six colleges have reached out to Ensley, since September. She maintained contact with four of those schools and subsequently scheduled visits with each of them. NC State was the first college to offer her a scholarship and now they will be able to reap the benefits of her athletic prowess for the next few years.