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Scholtz looking forward to opportunity at Missouri Southern

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg senior Mackenzie Scholtz recently signed her letter of intent to play soccer at Missouri Southern this coming fall.

It had been a long time coming for Mackenzie Scholtz and it was a day she thought would never arrive.

That day finally came last Wednesday in front a room full and friends and family to celebrate her dream of playing collegiate soccer, becoming a reality. During a ceremony at Louisburg High School, Scholtz signed her letter of intent to play soccer at Missouri Southern beginning this upcoming fall for the NCAA Division II program in Joplin, Mo.

Scholtz, who has played soccer since she was 4-years-old, will now get the chance to compete at the collegiate level in a matter of months.

“Everyone coming just shows that I have a lot of support, not just from my family, but my friends and coaches as well,” Scholtz said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this with any of them. I got this offer from playing in a high school game, which means a lot to me and that wouldn’t have happened without the help of my coaches.

“I have always wanted to play soccer in college, so getting to continue that is great. Having a scholarship really helps and then I get to continue what I love when I get down there. It will be almost like a job for me, but I am really looking forward to it.”

The story of her getting that offer is a good one and it happened partly because Scholtz was at the right place, at the right time.

The Missouri Southern staff came to Louisburg more than two years ago to watch then-standout Bailey Belcher play, but the Lions coaches also caught a glimpse of Scholtz. It wasn’t long after that the Lions offered both Belcher and Scholtz scholarship opportunities.

Belcher has spent the last two years with the Lion program and the two Louisburg standouts will reunite on the pitch soon.

“They were originally coming to watch Bailey, but then the coach liked how we played together and then he invited down to the campus to play,” Scholtz said. “I really enjoyed all the girls and the campus and everything. I had offers from schools in other states, but this is close to home and I get to play with one of my best friends. It just seemed liked the best option all-around.

“Bailey really helped me out during this whole process, about whether to accept the offer. I am so excited. I love playing with her and I think we play really well together. I am looking forward to see how we work together on the college level.”

Mackenzie Scholtz (middle) signed to play soccer for Missouri Southern during a signing ceremony last Wednesday. Seated next to Mackenzie (from left) her sister Ashton and her parents Christian and Samantha. Standing is Louisburg assistant coach Michael Pickman and head coach Kyle Conley.

However, it wasn’t always a given that Scholtz would go to Missouri Southern as there was a coaching change in the program last season. Scholtz wasn’t sure if the staff was going to honor her scholarship and what her other opportunities could be.

“It was a little up in the air for a while,” Scholtz said. “I hadn’t met the coach and he had never seen me play, so I wasn’t sure he was going to offer me still. Then he texted me and said he still wanted me on the team and that was a good feeling and kind of a relief. It was a breath of fresh air.”

Scholtz has a good high school resume as she heads off to the college ranks. Last season, Scholtz was named the Class 4-1A Co-Offensive Player of the Year by the Kansas Soccer Coaches Association.

She also had a record-setting season for the Wildcat offense as there were times during the 2019 season that she couldn’t be stopped. She set school records for goals in a season (39), goals in a career (98), hat tricks in a season (9), hat tricks in a career (18), points in a season (84), points in career (235) and game-winning goals (10).

Scholtz has also been named to the All-Frontier League and all-state first team the last three seasons.

As for her college career has in store for her, Scholtz knows it is going to be a lot of work between school and athletics. Still, she is looking forward to the challenge.

“I want to try and be and starter,” she said. “It is going to take a lot of hard work because there are a lot of good girls coming in and there are already good girls down there. I am just excited for the opportunity.”

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