"Determined. Intelligent and Reliable."
Those three words were what Shane Jordan, head coach of the Brainerd Warriors softball team, used to describe junior catcher, Clare Ceynowa.
On, Jan. 28, Ceynowa announced her athletic commitment to the University of Minnesota on Twitter.
"I chose the University of Minnesota because No. 1, I love what they stand for. They have goals and a strong passion for the game. No. 2, they care about your life after softball and after college. They have many advisors to help you succeed not only in school, but in your career." said Ceynowa. "And finally, the facilities are beautiful and overall I love that it feels like home."
Ceynowa and her family took several trips to the U of M. She arrived on campus Friday, Jan. 25 for her official visit. Ceynowa was greeted by many advisors. She met with the Nutritionist, Athletic and Academic advisors, but her most memorable moment was meeting the team and bunking with Gophers' freshman outfielder, Ali Lindner.
"The advisor meetings were very informative, but Ali helped me answer one of my biggest questions, 'Do you get enough sleep?'" Ceynowa said jokingly.
Ceynowa isn't decided what she will study, but enjoys her high school science and human biology class and would someday love to be in a career that fulfills her heart to serve.
Softball has always been a big part of Ceynowa's life. She began playing softball in second grade and has been playing for the Warrior's varsity team since eighth grade. It wasn't until last year, her sophomore year, that she expressed interest to play at the collegiate level.
"Once I decided I wanted to play college ball, it was necessary for me to go to camps and club softball," Ceynowa said. "Balancing school, three jobs, a rigorous athletic schedule has never been easy, but I learned that if it's important to you, you find a way to make time for it."
Outside of softball, Ceynowa enjoys focusing on her academics, hanging out with her friends, laying out under the sun and volunteering. Currently, she spends one day a week volunteering with the Special Olympics working with children ranging from ages 2-7 helping them develop their motor skills.
"Clare is not only the complete softball player, but a complete person," said Jordan. "Clare was chosen as captain, and the girls definitely consider her a strong female role model. She is a wonderful representative of Warrior athletics and I look forward to her becoming a stronger leader over the next two years as I have the honor of coaching her."
Ceynowa currently holds Brainerd's softball record for the most home runs with 13. although she is extremely proud of that, her personal goal is to surpass her dad's high school record of 26 home runs. In her 2019 season, Clare has set a goal to help her team make it to the State Tournament and to become the best leader she can be.
For her prep career, Ceynowa has played in 65 games. In 180 at-bats, she's hitting .371 with a .462 on-base percentage. She's collected 68 hits, 14 doubles, 62 RBIs, 67 runs and 26 walks.