Hayfield basketball player chooses college

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, May 29, 2008

HAYFIELD — It took awhile, but the Hayfield girls basketball team’s all-time leading scorer knows where she is going to play next season.

After months of deliberation between two schools, Leslie Wilson decided on Division III Wartburg College, which is located in Waverly, Iowa.

“It came down between Luther and Wartburg and I didn’t really know which one I wanted to go to,” Wilson said. “So then it came down to money and I finally decided a couple of weeks ago.”

Email newsletter signup

The Knights finished 13-11 last year and have been rebuilding over the past few seasons. Wilson hopes to get into the lineup as soon as possible.

“It’s fun to get into the next level of basketball. It’ll be different having a shot clock, but once I get used to that, it’ll be fun,” she said.

“They haven’t said a lot (about playing time), but when tryouts come, we’ll see which team I’m on, JV or varsity.”

While at Hayfield, Wilson gave up softball to work on basketball for most of the year, so the year-long schedule of college basketball shouldn’t be a huge adjustment for her. She has already started making some preparations.

“I’ve actually been starting to run,” she said. “And I’ll be starting a workout packet when I get it from them.”

Wilson leaves Hayfield as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,418 career points and she has the sixth most rebounds in school history with 502. She played four years on varsity and was a the leader of the Vikings team that went 26-5 overall and took fourth in the Class ‘AA’ state tournament this past winter.

She said the state tournament was the perfect ending to her career in Hayfield.

“That was great. I think that topped off everything after playing for four years,” she said. “Not being out there (next year) will be sad. But I think they’ll be fine.”

Hayfield’s head girls basketball coach Fred Kindschy said he will miss his go-to guard next season.

“I wish I could flunk her right now (to keep her in school). I wish I had some control over it,” Kindschy joked. “Everybody’s replaceable but sometimes who you replace them with is not equal to what you lost. For the last few years when push came to shove it’s been Wilson’s ball. Now it’s gonna be somebody else stepping up.”

Wilson is the fourth girls basketball player from Hayfield to advance to the college ranks in the last four years. Kindschy, who coached Wilson since was a fifth grader, said that is a good sign for his squad.

“Anytime you have girls going on to play college, hopefully that means you’ve had a lot of success as a high school team, which we have. It adds validity to the whole program and the hard work the kids have put in,” Kindschy said. “Leslie’s worked very hard during the season and in the summer.”

Now Kindschy will refocus his attention to his current crop of Viking players.

“We’re gonna go through a lot of growing pains this summer. We’ll know a lot more in two months (about our team),” he said. “We know we have three sophomores that are dynamite kids coming back. It’s probably as much talent as we’ve brought back, but one of our staple forces (Leslie) will not be back. I’m hoping we can eventually top (Leslie’s) scoring record somehow because that’ll mean we had another great player, but she set the plateau kind of high.”

Wartburg’s season will start in mid-November.