Colorado youth hockey graduate Schmidt off to NCAA D-III Aurora for upcoming 2023-24 season
Samira Schmidt was born in North Dakota and moved to Colorado in 2016.
It was in the seven years since that her game on the ice improved to the point where she recently committed to NCAA Division III Aurora University, a school in Illinois.
“Coach Hannah (Westbrook) and I sent film and (Aurora coach) Jackie Kooistra was pleased and we went from there,” Schmidt said. “One of the biggest influences on my decision was the school having my major, Exercise Science, and my head coach Jackie. They are a top D-III team and are continuing to rise and I want to be a part of a competitive team that wants to win.
“To be honest, I’ve always loved hockey more than anything, though I’ve had to learn to make academics a priority.”
Schmidt noted that she first laced up the skates when she was nine years old.
“My dad had played when he was younger and always thought it would be cool to get his kids involved, so he signed us up,” said Schmidt. “The Avs have definitely played a role. I became a huge fan when we moved here and have followed them ever since. My two favorite players (Bowen Byram and Mikko Rantanen) definitely influence my outlook on hockey as I look up to them.”
In Colorado, Schmidt started out playing rec hockey for the Eagles in Northern Colorado and her game blossomed from there.
“During the summer, we found out from a friend there was some summer skates with a female coach,” Schmidt said. “My older sister and I started to attend those morning skates run by Karen Rickard. She told my parents I should try out for her 14U AAA travel team. The following year, I played on three separate teams – Lady RoughRiders 15U A, Lady RoughRiders 14U AA and Team Colorado 14U AAA. I then moved up to play for Team Colorado all the way until my post-grad year.
“Coach Karen will always stand out to me as she is the reason I am going to play college hockey. I will always thank her for giving me a chance to play the highest level of hockey and always pushing me to be the best player, on and off the ice.”
Now with her college plans ready to go, Schmidt can focus on her future.
“My short-term goals consist of enjoying my years in school and having fun; I don’t want to waste any time away,” said Schmidt. “My long-term goals consist of me focusing on my future, and hopefully starting up my own business with my degree in Exercise Science and Business.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 20, 2023)