HHS' Reagan Kaiser signs with Rockhurst
By AUSTIN COLBERT
As recently as last week, Hays High School senior Reagan Kaiser was still fielding calls from interested schools. But on Tuesday, Kaiser, one of the state's best soccer players, put an end to any speculation about her future as a collegiate athlete by signing her letter of intent with NCAA Division II Rockhurst University in the HHS cafeteria.
"It's a great soccer program up there," Kaiser said. "Also, their soccer coach, I really love the way he does things. All the people at Rockhurst are very genuine and nice. I just felt it was where I was suppose to be."
Kaiser, a defender, is the reigning Western Athletic Conference player of the year. She helped lead the Indians to a 15-3-1 record last spring, including an 8-0 mark in WAC play and a regional championship.
Hays High set a new school record for its girls' soccer program by only allowing 11 goals all season, to go along with a record-breaking 48 goals scored.
"What makes her special, she really understands the game. You look at her physique -- she doesn't look like she is going to be a very physical player. But she is very hard nosed," former Hays High coach Chris Michaelis said.
Michaelis resigned last April after 15 years of leading the Indians. "It's a reward for all the hard work she has put in, but we also get to piggyback off that hard work and be proud of what she's accomplished and the direction that she is going to go," he said.
Kaiser will join a very successful Rockhurst program, located in Kansas City, Mo., which is coming off a 13-6-3 season that ended in the second game of the Midwest Regionals.
As strong as the team is, what ultimately sold Kaiser on the university is her acceptance into its doctor of physical therapy program.
"She loved to play soccer and I always told her, 'Take care of the grades and it will all happen.' And she's just done a fantastic job of that," said Randy Kaiser, Reagan's father. "She is getting a good academic scholarship as well and they've got a great doctoral program in physical therapy, which is something she is very interested in. I'm just proud of her all the way around that she is taking care of everything and worked so hard."
Kaiser will have her work cut out for her on the field in her final season at Hays High this spring. The Indians lost a deep and talented senior class from a year ago, including four first team All-WAC players.
When spring practice gets underway on Monday, it will be clear the team revolves around Kaiser.
"She's shown during conditioning she is going to be a leader and I'm hoping she carries that into the season," first year head coach Saul Hernandez said. "I think she will and I think she understands she is going to be one of the main ones and the one a lot of girls are going to look up to and are going to want to follow her example."
Kaiser signed her letter on Tuesday in front of two dozen of her fellow students.
"It's really nice having all the support here. I think that's what made it so nervous," Kaiser said. "Just seeing all my friends and all the support I have here, it's so nice to see them come out and support me in the sport that I love."