NRHEG senior to play basketball, softball at Iowa college
FOREST CITY – Kayley Camerer looks to provide in the paint on the hardwood while producing at the plate on the softball diamond as she continues her athletic career as a dual-sport athlete at Waldorf University.
Camerer, an Ellendale, Minn. native and senior from New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva High School, signed letters of intent with the Warriors on April 23.
"It is a surreal feeling to be able to continue both basketball and softball," Camerer said. "It shows that all the hard work I put into for both sports paid off."
A 5-foot-11 center, Camerer was a four-year varsity letter winner and started for NRHEG the past two seasons.
"Kayley comes from a winning program that has had some excellent seasons over the past few years," Waldorf women's basketball coach Katie Schutjer said. "She was part of a program this season in particular that worked extremely hard to be winners and ended her senior campaign with a state tournament berth."
Camerer averaged 9.1 points, four rebounds and 2.1 assists as a senior. The Panthers posted a 20-5 record, won the Gopher Conference with a 12-0 league record and reached the Class AA state tournament. Camerer, who also helped NRHEG to the 2014 state tournament, has earned all-conference honors in each of the past three seasons.
"She will provide us with another inside presence, but also be able to step out and do some good things offensively from the perimeter," Schutjer said. "She can shoot the three and shoot off the dribble. She also handles the ball well for a forward, which is a skill that not a lot of incoming freshmen have at the college level."
A five-year varsity starter and letter winner in softball, Camerer has played first base and is a four-time all-conference selection. She's expected to damage in the batter's box when she joins the Warriors.
"Kayley will add more power to our lineup," Waldorf softball coach Lexy Determan said. "She is a strong girl who could be developed into a great power hitter at this level. She will need some fine-tuning in her swing, but she definitely has the power."
Waldorf currently has five dual-sports athletes apiece on its women's basketball and softball rosters. Determan is looking forward to seeing Camerer excel in both sports.
"Kayley will benefit from playing two sports at Waldorf," Determan said. "Getting accustomed to college-level athletics will be a fun transition to watch her make."
Camerer is the daughter of Wade and Wendy Camerer. She plans to pursue an education degree at Waldorf. Camerer said she chose to attend the university because of its atmosphere and proximity to her hometown.
"It's close to home and the small-town feel was something that was important," Camerer said. "The people here are so welcoming."
Relying on regional talent has been a cornerstone of the Waldorf softball program and Camerer fits the mold.
"She comes from a great family and is a local girl who will be a great addition to campus," Determan said. "I am looking forward to see what type of player she will develop into."
Camerer becomes the sixth member of the Waldorf softball program's 2017-18 recruiting class, joining Jackson, Minn. native and Iowa Lakes Community College transfer Blaney Markman; Glenview, Ill. native and Harper College transfer Peyton Arenson; Glendale, Ariz. standout Brynlee Gibbs; Belmont, Wis. recruit Kathryn Hoyer and Riverside, Calif. native Jessica Whittaker.
The Waldorf women's basketball program continues to build its incoming recruiting class with Camerer alongside Iowa Central Community College transfer Michaela Graffunder from Rockwell City and Union High School standout Kaeli Block from La Porte City.
Camerer makes her collegiate debut this winter, opening the basketball season for the Warriors as they start the 2017-18 campaign on Oct. 27 against Nebraska Christian College in a 5 p.m. matchup at Papillion, Neb. She then transitions to softball when the season begins in the spring.
"She is a coachable kid who has a great attitude," Schutjer said. "We are excited to be able to bring her in as a freshman and work with her to develop her game."