Welcome to my blog:
"The hardest part of the recruiting process is telling a coach that you aren’t interested in going to college there."
School is here once again after an exciting and busy summer (sorry for such a long delay on a blog!). It’s hard to believe that I’m a senior and it’s the last year that I’ll be walking the halls at St. Peter. Basketball season is finally here though! We have 3 weeks of practice under our belts and definitely ready for our first game. It’s only the beginning of what we are hoping is going to be a memorable year.
There have been some big changes to our varsity program. We have a new coach, Bob Southworth, who was an outstanding basketball and football player at Gustavus Adolphus College. We participated in a summer league with teams around southern Minnesota and went to team camp at South Dakota State University. It’s a growing and learning process, and I feel that we made some good strides forward through the summer. Also, Alyssa Kerkhoff moved to St. Peter and has become a great asset to the team.
To keep our skills sharp, we played in the fall league at Bloomington Kennedy. It’s such a great feeling to get on the court again. It was such a thrill going to State last year, but we all want more this year and we’re willing to give our all 100% of the time to reach our goals. With our goals in mind, our motto for the season is “Whatever it Takes.”
We have 14 girls on our varsity roster this year and they are all ready to contribute in their own unique way. It’s a great group of girls. We get along and enjoy being in each other’s company. Even though some can say we have a lot of talent, I believe the thing that makes us different from other teams is our work ethic. Each girl is going to work her butt off the whole 2 hours of practice every day. If one of us is slacking, we get on each other and encourage to keep pushing. That is where our success comes from. We might not be hitting our shots, but we are going to out work our opponent, which will hopefully, lead us to victory. Along with the high school and community, I am very excited for the season and what it could potentially be.
This summer I played again for the Minnesota Stars under Coach Borowicz. We went to tournaments in Indiana, Cincinnati, Florida, Nashville, and Chicago, along with quite a few in Minnesota. It was a successful summer. We had a talented team that worked hard and got along really well. We won the Adidas National Championship for the second year in a row and got 3rd at the Super Showcase in Florida. The thing that I’m going to miss the most next summer is not being able to play AAU anymore. I’ve made so many great friends and even though traveling around the country on a coach bus can be a pain, doing it with some of my best friends makes it all worthwhile.
Since that was my last year of AAU and I was entering my senior year, being recruited finally came into play. I visited a number of campuses this past summer, sent out film to schools that I might have an interest in, trying to let coaches know who I am. I went to Creighton, Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and South Dakota State University. It was a great learning experience meeting all the different staffs, getting a feel for different campuses, and just enjoying the opportunities I’ve been given. After AAU was over, in August I got a feel of which schools were interested in me. I received early scholarship offers from very quality programs Creighton, Colorado State, Green Bay and SDSU. But instead of deciding during August, I thought it would be in my best interest to hold off a decision. I did this because I was still on Marquette, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin’s radars. The hardest part of the recruiting process is telling a coach that you aren’t interested in going to college there. Even though every one tells you it’s part of their job and they hear it all the time, to me it’s hard because it is so personal. The exciting part of the process was when coaches started asking for you to go on official visits. I went on official visits to Missouri, SDSU, Marquette, and Wisconsin. Each one was such a great and unforgettable experience.
As you all probably know by now, I signed my letter of intent with Wisconsin. Here’s the story of how that came to be. My main goal was to be decided by when basketball season started so I could sign during the early signing period. Coach Stone called and offered me the Saturday before the signing period started that Wednesday. I took my official visit there that next weekend. I had about two days to make my decision. I never ever thought it would come down to being so close to the last signing day. It was definitely the most difficult decision of my life but I got some great advice, which really helped me in the end.
Lastly, I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given throughout my career and hopefully this season will be just as blessed. Unfortunately we’ve already lost a key contributor to the team in Sidney Dirks with an ACL tear, but we’re working hard to overcome this adversity. It’s time to pin point St. Peter on your maps, because it’s time to finally play on Tuesday night! Best the luck to everyone this season and hope everyone stays injury free!
"We were going to state! The state experience was great."
Even though my junior season ended March 17, this is probably the first time I’ve been able to sit down and put my thoughts together on paper. Two years ago I can remember my first varsity possession. We were being pressed, the ball was passed into me and I traveled. Starting my varsity career with a turnover. We finished the season 4-19. Since that first game, a lot has changed for St. Peter basketball. Going into the season we knew we could compete, but I honestly can say that I didn’t think we would make it to state. It was in the way back of my mind and if we wouldn’t make it, I knew we would be even better the next year. We ended the regular season with a pretty long string of wins. We received the two seed and home court advantage in our Sub-Section, the top seed went to the Le Sueur Giants, who pulled off a 3-point win against us in early January.
One of the most memorable things from this season has to be the crazy weather we’ve had. We’re far into the month of February and we still have six games left! And three of those games are make ups due to Mother Nature. After beating up on Jordan, the girls took on the Sleepy Eye Indians at Gustavus Adolphus College. The night was dedicated to Coaches Against Cancer. One of my teammates was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma back in July. To let Katrina know we were fighting with her, we all wear a lime green shoelace. Katrina went through chemotherapy and had been working towards her return to the court. While we were battling in the second half against Sleepy Eye, coach put Katrina in the game. We were all so excited; the crowd stood up and cheered. The game wasn’t a pretty one but we came out with the W and so happy to see Kate back in action!
"We had the opportunity to play at the Target Center against Mahtomedi."
About eight minutes into a tough conference game against Fairmont Friday night, I had a back door cut and was given an awesome pass which led to a lay up and two points. We took the lead with that two, 14-12. Coming down from that shot, I landed on my defenders foot and was done for the game. Our girls put up one tough fight for the rest of the game but only having six players and myself out on the bench, we couldn’t pull off the W. It was a good learning experience for the girls having to take on such a strong opponent without me in there. I got my ankle checked out this Saturday at Gustavus and the prognosis is pretty positive. I’m going in for treatment each day plus a lot of icing should get me back by the end of this week or early next week.
January has been a month of many ups and downs. Our first game back from break was against the undefeated Maple River Eagles. We didn’t play our pace which really hurt us in the end. The Eagles were able to slow down the game dramatically and we couldn’t make a come back. We were supposed to play conference opponent Waseca two days after, but the bad weather here in southern Minnesota caused another postponed game. Next game was against rival Le Sueur Henderson. It’s kind of like the Lakeville North and South rivalry for a comparison. We had a lead the entire first half but the start of the second, we let them go on a 14-0 run. The most we were down by was 17. That second half LSH could not miss a shot. We made a great run to cut the lead. I drained a 3 with 8 seconds left to put us down by 2 if I remember correctly. We fouled them with 3.5 seconds left and they made 1 of 2 free throws. Down by 3. Our senior guard, Jenny Wilking, threw up a half court shot; rim, backboard, rim… no good. Almost making that buzzer beater was a real heart breaker.
Not including Friday night, that was the end of the “downers” of the month! The same week after losing to LSH we dominated conference opponent St. James. We were firing in all cylinders. It was 6-0 before STJ got the ball on their half of the court. I had 3 steals, 2 assists, and 2 points in that little run. Whoa! I missed one shot that game and it was a lay up! 4-4 on 3 point field goals. I was definitely feeling it! Everything was working for our team. Our next game was conference once again vs. New Ulm. We were out on a hunt for the Eagles! I wasn’t completely happy with my performance, but we did what we needed to do in order for us to be victorious. Many girls stepped up to the plate. The following Saturday we had the opportunity to play at the Target Center against Mahtomedi. We had such a great experience playing there. I was imaging all the great players that have played there, especially the previous night my favorite baller Chris Paul was there. (haha) A few of my AAU teammates made the trip to come support me! That was a great surprise. Also, I had about 20 other family members that came. I was so glad they came to a great game. I sure hope we’ll be back playing there in March! Once again Mother Nature thought we should be in a blizzard warning and our game against New Ulm Cathedral was postponed.
Last night we took on the Jordan Jaguars. It was a quite feeling walking into the gym on crutches and getting surprised looks from our opponent. The girls played amazing. Our sophomore guard, Katy Kuiper, had the game of her life with 32 points leading us to a 63-23 victory. I’m so proud of her! All the girls stepped up and played their hearts out. Our next game is Thursday against Sleepy Eye. It’s almost more painful sitting on the sideline! I can’t wait to get healthy. I hope everyone else can stay injury free!
"The rest of break I’m planning on being a complete gym rat."
The following week was quite interesting. Tuesday we were to make the trip to Glencoe Silver Lake, but because of the blizzard watch, the game was postponed. Wednesday we ended up having a snow day! It was a great break for us, but we had a huge game coming up on Friday. The GSL game was rescheduled for Thursday night. I was pretty worried about the back-to-back game days, but we got a quick lead and were able to get subs in to rest up for the next night. I absolutely shot terrible against GSL (50% from the line, OUCH) and didn’t have the best game. That sure changed against Fairmont. We haven’t beaten this conference opponent since 2003. Talk about a losing streak. We were so hyped to play. It was our first home game of the season; the adrenaline and intensity was high. I’m pretty positive we didn’t trail them once the score reached 6-4. It was our night for redemption and we sure shined. A twelve-point win over a team that had two losses last year and almost went to state was huge! It’s easily in my book for an all time great game.
Hey there. Most of you reading this have probably haven’t even heard of me yet so I’ll give you a little back ground of myself! I’m currently a junior at St. Peter High School, which is about 10 minutes north of Mankato. We’re apart of the South Central Conference. We’ve recently moved down to class 2A this year. My school has always been borderline 2A or 3A. Since we’ve dropped down this year I’m especially pumped for the season! The last two years have been somewhat rocky. My freshman year was tough but a great learning experience. Last season was a huge improvement! We hired a new coach, Cyndi Raymond, and along with her we gained her daughter who’s a good inside player. We ended up right around .500 for the season and are looking to improve even more this year. We’ve gained some experience since last year but we’re still fairly young. We returned all but one of our starters. I love talking about basketball; HS, college, 4th graders, it doesn’t matter to me, I love it! Anyway, that was an attempt at a transition into a different topic otherwise I would have a short story published on just my life including basketball.
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