Athletics: 3 Warriors sign to extend their athletic careers
Katie Foley, Jack Schafer and Meghan Smith all signed letters of intent Wednesday, Nov. 10.
In the wee morning hours before most humans even rise out of bed, three Brainerd Warriors student-athletes were extending their athletic careers.
It was college signing day Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Brainerd High School and seniors Katie Foley, Jack Schafer and Meghan Smith were front and center in the new meeting room. All three signed their NCAA National Letters of Intent to continue their education and athletic careers at the next level.
Foley signed to play women’s golf at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Schafer will play baseball at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona and Smith chose softball at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
Brainerd activities director Jack Freeman praised the three and said they had the tools to enjoy successful college careers.
“These three embody the values of our department,” Freeman said. “They’ve learned grit, care, positivity, responsibility and trustworthiness. All the traits they can lean on at the next level when things get tough. These three all qualify as scholar All-Central Lakes Conference athletes. They have a cumulative grade-point average among the three of them of 3.84, which is proof they can balance their time commitment and continue to make their academics their No. 1 priority when they get to the next level.”
This spring, Foley will start her sixth varsity season on the Warrior girls golf team. She’s already a two-time state participant with another shot to make an appearance at the Class 3A State tournament.
“She’s worked hard and has been a fine example of how hard work will pay off,” said Warrior head girls golf coach Todd Person. “I’m glad that Katie will continue her golf career at the collegiate level as she has unlimited potential as a golfer.
“Her positive outlook has always been, and I’m sure will continue to be, her No. 1 asset.”
“It’s awesome to have it figured now and just focus on getting scholarships and enjoying the rest of my senior year, especially as I head into the golf season,” Foley said. “The funny thing is about six months ago I was deadset on going to St. Andrews in Scotland. St. Thomas wasn’t even on my radar and hadn’t been. We connected with the coach, who we’ve known forever, down at a high school golf tournament in the Cities and then she told me she had accepted the position and that’s what sparked my interest.”
His head coach had this to say about him.
“Jack Schafer represents the Warrior Way as well as anyone I’ve ever coached,” Warrior head baseball coach Trent Grams said. “He is a team-first athlete that puts his best foot forward both academically and athletically. His academic and athletic commitment to St. Mary’s is just one achievement of many more to come. We are proud that Jack is a part of the Warrior baseball program.”
“It just felt like home,” he said. “It was that intangible. It just felt like home. After calling coach (Nick) Winecke and telling him that I wanted to commit, it was a weight off my shoulders. I feel like this was a big problem for me last year. I put so much weight on my shoulders trying to get noticed. Now that I have that whole thing out of the way, it’s going to be 10 times more fun.”
“It was actually a very hard decision,” Smith said. “I thought about doing both sports for a while, but I just recently decided that I wanted to focus on school since I’m going to be doing a tougher major. I’m still doing softball so I didn’t really need to do two sports. I figured I could always do an intramural volleyball league if I wanted.”
“What most do not know about Meghan. She has a huge heart. She changed her entire swing because her coaches asked her to. She played catcher even when she didn't want to and she plays a position that requires her to play 25 feet away from a batter. Don't confuse her grit, her passion, her competitiveness for anything other than her want to win. She is a Warrior with the heart of a lion and I'm happy she's on my team.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.