How Karly Weathers learned leadership from MLB-playing dad, brother and basketball star mom

Joseph Spears
Nashville Tennessean

Karly Weathers' first two seasons with Loretto could be described by amazing highs for most of the season, ending with crushing lows.

As a freshman, Weathers helped lead the Lady Mustangs back to the state tournament for the first time since 2014 only for the program to end with a loss to Gibson County in the Class A championship game.

Loretto entered last year's state tournament as a potential favorite to win it all only to have the tournament canceled after one game due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Weathers now is not only a standout on the Lady Mustangs roster, receiving offers from Alabama, Belmont, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky MTSU, Vanderbilt and others, she also has become the leader for the program vying for a third straight state tournament run.

"Those first two seasons were really difficult because you do all of this hard work all season long only to have it end with a loss like that or to just have it stripped away like it was last season," Weathers said. "It's a lot of motivation moving forward. We haven't really started this season the way we had hoped but we know that it isn't how you start the season but how we finish it."

Weathers, the daughter of former major league pitcher David Weathers and Belmont hall of fame basketball player Kelli Weathers, said her mom — a non-faculty girls assistant — has made her the leader she is today.

"My mom has had the greatest impact on me," said Weathers, a 5-9 guard/forward combo. "She is continuously making sure that not only am I doing my part in how I play, but also the way I lead.

"I could put up the best stats in the history of stats, but if I did not lead well, I could have done better. Although there are times where that was frustrating, it has made me a better player. So, I’m forever thankful for her impact."

She added that her dad, a non-faculty baseball assistant, and her brother Ryan Weathers, a left-handed pitcher for the San Diego Padres selected seventh overall in the 2018 MLB Draft, have also been examples to her. Ryan Weathers led Loretto to a boys basketball and baseball state championship while at Loretto.

"I watched my older brother lead on his teams in baseball and basketball. I also watch how my dad coaches when it comes to baseball and how everyone sees him as a leader."

Weathers has led Loretto in scoring each of the last two seasons at 21.3 points as a freshman and 18.8 as a sophomore and was a Miss Basketball finalist each year.

This season Weathers is averaging 22.1 points.

Following a 57-48 loss to district-rival Summertown, Loretto (10-4) dropped its second straight game for the first time this season since opening the year with losses to Upperman and Lebanon. Loretto coach Ashley Rutledge said that Weathers kept the team in the locker room following the Summertown loss and had a team talk with them away from the coaches.

While Weather was relied upon as the Lady Mustangs' main scorer, Rutledge said that Weathers is more vocal when she's out on the court and the rare instance she's not. 

Loretto Karly Weathers (22) shoots over Summertown’s Hailey Jones (23) during their game at Summertown High School Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 in Summertown, Tenn.

"The best thing about Karly is when things get hard or when there's pressure on us, she's the one who steps up and answers the call," Rutledge said. "She doesn't just do it in games but in practice as well. That response when things get hard, if she gets started, she's one of the hardest players in the state to stop."

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