Krzyzanowski commits to golf scholarship at South Dakota
     2012-11-22      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Terry Gaston/for the Citizen
Gering High School golf coach Annie Boggs is all smiles as senior Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski signs a letter of intent to play golf at the University of South Dakota. Krzyanowski is a four-time Class B State medalist.
 
Gering all-stater, 4-time state medalist to play for Division I Coyotes

With the way Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski has played high school golf the past four years, the question was not if the four-time Class B state tournament medalist would play golf collegiately but where she would matriculate both academically and athletically.
Last Wednesday, on the first day she could sign a national letter of intent, Krzyzanowski signed her letter to attend the University of South Dakota during a ceremony in the Gering High School library.
Krzyzanowski thus joins her older brother, Erik, at the NCAA Division I level. Erik is a sophomore at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.
“I wanted to go there because I think it’s a great fit for me,” Krzyzanowski, the oldest daughter of Kevin and Susan Krzyzanowski of Scottsbluff, said of USD.
“I went down there for a couple of visits and I really like the team and felt like I made a connection with them, so I’m just really excited to go down there and get an education and play golf.”
Krzyzanowski had said late this fall that South Dakota, which is coached by Nick Hovden for both the men’s and women’s programs, was a front-runner in her choice for competing collegiately and for its academic opportunities.
“I was thinking about other schools, but South Dakota ended up at the top of my list pretty quickly,” she said. “The players I met were all super friendly and talked to me about what would happen if I went there and how practices and other things would go. I felt like I made a good connection with the coach too. I’m really excited to work with him.”
Krzyzanowski said she likes her chances of making an immediate impact in the Coyotes program.
“I think I can jump right into the varsity level when I get there,” she said. “I think there is a good opportunity for me to do really well in their conference.”
The Coyotes are part of the Summit League, which consists of the University of Omaha (formerly Nebraska-Omaha), Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne, University of Missouri-Kansas City, North Dakota State University, Oakland University (Mich.), South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University.
At Gering, Krzyzanowski won eight tournaments as a junior and seven more as a senior, culminating with the District B-4 medalist championship and a fourth-place state finish.
She had finished second at state as a junior and, when she still attended Scottsbluff High School before she transferred to GHS in January 2011, placed third as a sophomore and 15th as a freshman.
“There were some disappointments in my season, but I think I accomplished a lot to be really with what I’ve done here,” said Krzyzanowski, who led her team to a state tournament-qualifying berth, where sophomore Sam Rahmig earned a 15th-place medal.
“I just felt overall that I did really well here and I couldn’t ask for a better two years here at Gering.”
The ceremony took place in the library where Gering girls’ golf coach Annie Boggs spends part of her days as school library media specialist for grades 7-12. So the link between Krzyzanowski’s high school career as a student-athlete and her collegiate signing was one that was certainly appropriate.
“Kaitlyn brings a work ethic, number one, she’s not afraid to put in the time that’s needed to be a successful student and a successful athlete,” Boggs said of Krzyzanowski.
“She brings leadership skills, she’s not afraid to take charge and lead people in a positive direction. She also brings a lot of energy to the team and everyone appreciates that. Just all around, they are getting a great recruit.”
Krzyzanowski said she is undecided on what her major will be at USD.
“Hopefully I can get that figured out pretty soon,” she said. “I feel like they are good in academics and I like the facilities as well for education. I am super excited to go there.”
Boggs said Krzyzanowski has been like a second coach to the Bulldogs during her two years on the Gering team and said late in the season that she believed Krzyzanowski would make a great coach and teacher if she wanted to pursue that direction.
“I think I would enjoy doing something like that, just spending time around the sport and then being around other people who love it,” Krzyzanowski said. “If that opportunity came my way, I would take it.”
Kevin Krzyzanowski commented after the ceremony that the family’s chances of traveling to see Kaitlyn play collegiately will be greater than the opportunity to watch Erik, which he said has come only about one time per season.
And Kaitlyn said the relatively closer distance to USD, in Vermillion, in the southeast corner of South Dakota, definitely played a role in her choice.
“It’s good because I can come home and my family can come see me play golf, so it’ll be just like it has always been,” she said of their ability to travel. “I think that was a big factor in it as well because it’s just homey.”
* * *
After Kaitlyn’s signing ceremony, Kevin Krzyzanowski also said that youngest daughter Emily, a third-grader at Westmoor Elementary School in Scottsbluff, may be the most competitive among his and Susan’s three children on the golf course.
Consider this fair warning to budding golfers when Emily Krzyzanowski reaches the high school level in the fall of 2018. She pours a pretty mean punch ladle, as discovered at her sister’s signing ceremony.

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