Dorseys

Somerset High School softball coach David Dorsey (left) hugs his daughter Brittany Dorsey Murphy (second from left) after they led their Briar Jumpers to the 2015 District Tournament title.

To understand why David Dorsey was so important to the success of the Somerset High School softball team, you must first understand his family history.

While many families trees are large and span over many, many generations - the Dorsey family tree is more like a little bush. But that Dorsey family 'little bush' has the strongest roots of any large tree.

David Dorsey's father, Jim Dorsey grew up as an orphan and 'family' was a word he probably didn't hear or experience too often. But when Jim Dorsey was able to marry and start a family of his own, he wanted to devote all of his time and effort into this new household experience.

Jim and Katie Dorsey had two children, Barbie and David. The Dorsey couple did everything possible to provide for their two children. When David Dorsey showed some interest and promise in the sport of baseball, Jim Dorsey was 'all in' to make the game a great experience for his young son. 

Jim Dorsey’s involvement with his son’s love for baseball turned into a full-blown obsession, which ultimately benefited the entire community.

Well before David and his friends were old enough to play baseball, Jim Dorsey made sure his son had a baseball league for them to play in and helped form the Somerset Little League. A few years later, his son was out of Little League and Jim Dorsey made sure there was a Babe Ruth League and field for the kids to further their baseball education.

Legendary Somerset High School baseball coach Charlie Taylor spent many summers coaching with Jim Dorsey in local Little League and Babe Ruth League All-Star games. By the time the group of young baseball players, who Jim Dorsey had nurtured and paved their way with leagues and playing fields to play on, reached the high school level — Charlie Taylor knew he had a special group of baseball players.

“Jim Dorsey had worked with that bunch of kids all the way from Little League and on up to Babe Ruth...that was a special bunch of kids,” Taylor reminisced. “There have been a lot of good baseball coaches in our youth sports over the years, but none have had anywhere near the impact on the kids than Jim Dorsey had on those kids back in the 1960’s.”

“Jim Dorsey was never concerned about winning, but he was more concerned about teaching the kids to play baseball the right way,” Taylor said. “He was concerned about teaching kids the proper way to hit, field and throw a baseball.”

And that was especially true on how he worked with his own son, David, in the backyard of the Dorsey's family home.

“Pitching to my father was never just throwing the ball to each other,” David Dorsey recalled. “He was always wanting me to work on my pitching and he was always looking for improvement in my throwing mechanics.”

“I can remember when I used to pitch to him in the backyard, and sometimes he wasn’t exactly pleased with the way I was throwing,” David Dorsey recalled. “Mom would call us in for supper and after we ate he would ask me to come outside to pitch some more until he was satisfied with the way I was throwing.”

Jim Dorsey's insistence with his son's throwing ability paid off handsomely, as David Dorsey went on to become perhaps the greatest pitcher in Somerset High School baseball history, and later pitchied at Eastern Kentucky University.

In the early 1970's, Jim Dorsey had handed over a talented group of young baseball players to Charlie Taylor, who later molded them into the 1974 high school state champions. And leading the way for the school's first state championship crown was their star pitcher David Dorsey.

After David Dorsey completed his baseball collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky University, he came back to help Coach Taylor with his Briar Jumper baseball team.

Like his father before him, David Dorsey started a family of his own. However, there were no boys among David Dorsey's offsprings. While David Dorsey continued to coach baseball as his two young girls were growing up, a missed middle school softball game changed all that.

"I remember we had big game with Pulaski County, when they were near the top of the state rankings," Dorsey recalled. "It was a huge game for our baseball program, but I had to miss my daughter's Meece Middle School softball against Pine Knot. It was at that moment, I realized I wasn't going to ever miss another one of her games."

David Dorsey quickly gave up coaching baseball to be able to attend all his his young daughter's - Brittany Dorsey Murphy - middle school softball games.

Somerset High School baseball's loss was the Lady Jumpers softball program's gain.

Like his father, David Dorsey was not just content in sitting in the bleachers to cheer for his daughter's softball team, and soon became part of the coaching staff. And it probably didn't take long before everyone in the program quickly realized David Dorsey was 'the smartest guy in the room' as far as teaching hitting, fielding and throwing fundamentals.

David Dorsey guided his oldest daughter Brittany through a legendary softball career at Somerset High School that spanned nearly an entire decade. Later, he coached his younger daughter, Samantha, to an all-state career and the program's first-ever region softball title.

During David Dorsey's early years of coaching the Lady Jumpers' softball team, Jim and Katie Dorsey played a huge role in the program and worked countless hours alongside their son and granddaughters. Well into his 70's, Jim Dorsey always physically helped in preparing the softball field before each game.

Both Jim and Katie Dorsey passed away before David Dorsey and his daughter Samantha led the Lady Jumpers' softball team to the 2010 Region Tournament Championship.

However, the Dorsey family legacy continued when David's daughter Brittany joined the Lady Jumpers' softball coaching staff in 2010. Brittany's husband, Jeff Murphy, joined the Somerset softball coaching staff three years later to make it a complete Dorsey family affair.

Brittany has been part of the Somerset softball coaching staff for 10 years, and her husband Jeff stayed on for five years before taking the Meece Middle School head baseball coaching job in 2018.

At this point, there has been no official word as to who will succeed David Dorsey as the new Lady Jumper softball coach. But there is a strong possibility that they may have close family ties to the former legendary softball head coach.

Hopefully, the Dorsey family legacy will continue on at Somerset High School.

Jim Dorsey's family tree is no longer a small bush, it is a Somerset High School softball legacy.

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