College of choice: Jays’ star Schaack picks ConcordiaAmber Schaack knew she wanted to play hockey in college, but she wasn’t ready to decide where. The three-time all-state standout, with a whopping 91 goals and 32 assists in 71 games in her high school career for the Blue Jays, drew plenty of interest from Division I and III programs.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Amber Schaack knew she wanted to play hockey in college, but she wasn’t ready to decide where.
The three-time all-state standout, with a whopping 91 goals and 32 assists in 71 games in her high school career for the Blue Jays, drew plenty of interest from Division I and III programs.
Schaack had planned on waiting to decide if a big-time offer came along, but then she took a trip to Moorhead.
“I was going to wait and see if I got any offers, but when I visited Concordia it seemed like the right fit in every way possible,” she said. “Even if I wasn’t going to play hockey, it seemed like a home away from home.”
It seems like a steal for the Cobbers, inking a player of Schaack’s caliber.
Concordia is coming off its best season in program history after it went 15-6-1 and advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament. D-III schools such as Concordia don’t offer athletic scholarships per se, but Schaack also has excelled academically and that will help offset the cost through other scholarships.
“Their program has gone up a lot the last couple of years,” Amber said.
She also developed a relationship with Concordia coach Brett Bruininks, who put the full-court press on to lure her.
“They showed a lot of interest,” said Brad Schaack, head coach of the Blue Jays. “Their coach was persistent, and he’s built a pretty nice program over there.”
Schaack drew interest from several Division I schools, including Minnesota State-Mankato, Bemidji State and St. Cloud State of the WCHA, Robert Morris (Ill.) of the ACHA and RPI (N.Y.) out of the ECAC.
But in the end, the Cobbers won out. She liked the smaller-school feel and the proximity to home.
“I thought about it a lot. You just have to make the best decision you can and I feel like I did that,” Amber said. “I’m excited to get to play four more years of hockey.”
Schaack plans to study elementary education and coach hockey, of course.
But before all that she has a senior season to get ready for. The Blue Jays are coming off the best season in program history after winning 13 games and placing fifth at the state tournament. They start practice Nov. 5.
“If we keep improving like we have been the last three years we should be able to have a good season,” she said. “Our goal is definitely to make it back to state. We have a lot of confidence with the way we’ve improved. Hopefully we can have another season like that.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org