Off to Mizzou: JHS standout Kraft commits to MissouriHigh school students can use the free time spring break affords for lots of different things. Laura Kraft used hers to figure out where she’s going to college. In Kraft’s case, the circumstances are unique, to say the least. After a whirlwind 2 years that left her with a handful of Division I offers, the Jamestown High School junior committed to the University of Missouri on Saturday, deciding on the Big 12 school located in Columbia, Mo.
High school students can use the free time spring break affords for lots of different things.
Laura Kraft used hers to figure out where she’s going to college.
In Kraft’s case, the circumstances are unique, to say the least.
After a whirlwind 2 years that left her with a handful of Division I offers, the Jamestown High School junior committed to the University of Missouri on Saturday, deciding on the Big 12 school located in Columbia, Mo.
Mizzuo, as the college is widely known, entered the picture a little later than some of the others, but a visit there last month left a big impression.
“It was a situation where when I stepped on campus it felt like it was a place where I could see myself in the future,” Laura said. “Every place we visited was great. Everybody was so nice to me. It was such a great experience.
“I just had to bear down and weigh the pros and cons of the different places and Mizzuo ended up on top.”
The decision was a tough one. Her final list came down to Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota State, North Dakota and South Dakota State. She’d also drawn interest from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State and Kansas State and had visited a number of the schools and gotten to know many of the coaches.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunities I had. I’ve met a lot of great people and it’s just been a lot of fun,” she said in her typically polite tone. “It’s good to just know where my future is going to be. It’s a little load off my shoulders and I can just relax and focus on my game and hopefully improving.”
On top of the college decision, she’s also been grinding away on rehabbing her right knee after suffering a torn ACL in December during the basketball season. She got the go-ahead about 2 weeks ago to pick up a club and has already been out a couple of times hitting balls, while wearing a knee brace.
“She’s rehabbed really well. She’s worked hard and it’s gone about as well as it could,” said Dean Kraft, Laura’s coach and Dad. “She was fortunate in that is was a really clean injury. There wasn’t any collateral damage in terms of other ligaments or cartilage.
“The goal with an injury like that is come back better than ever because of the work you do on your core muscles. She should be back to 100 percent.”
She’ll be back in full swing in plenty of time for the summer, where she has another full schedule planned.
Last summer she won a big tournament in Oklahoma, which automatically qualified her for prestigious tournaments in San Diego and Cincinnati, which allowed her to showcase her game on big, sprawling courses in front of college coaches from all over the country.
“That exposure she got was invaluable,” Dean said. “She was able to show that she was a powerful player and a smart player and that she had the potential to compete at that level.”
She followed that with a dominant high school season, winning 6 tournaments, including the West Region and state meets.
This fall, she’ll try to become the first ever 3-time state medalist, and considering her aptitude for excellence in the big meets combined with the tournament being held at her home course — the Jamestown Country Club — 2010 could be a very special season.
But as usual, she’s approaching everything in her local-key style.
“It’s exciting to think about the future and what that holds, but right now it’s fun to just be here and continue to work on my game and hopefully become a better player.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org