Colorado Rubber

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Illinois native, Team Colorado AAA star Schmidt heading home in ’24-25 with commitment to NCAA D-III Aurora


Keilana Schmidt is following in the footsteps of her older sister Samira.

Both have played for the Team Colorado AAA program and next season, they’ll be teammates again at NCAA Division III Aurora University.

My sister is a freshman at AU and that sparked my interest in attending there,” said Schmidt. “My coach Karen Rickard and I reached out to the head coach, Jackie Kooistra, and it went from there. Something that really influenced me about AU was the coaching style and team dynamic. It looked like something I wanted to be a part of.

“My sister and I have always been super close, so we were super excited when the opportunity to for me play there arose.”

Schmidt also said going to Aurora will be the perfect blend of school and hockey.

“I view academics as a very important part of being a student-athlete,” Schmidt said. “Balancing it can be difficult, but performing well in school is something I take seriously. My major will be health science.”

Growing up, Schmidt said she started playing hockey at the age of seven in Williston, N.D.

“My dad got my brother and sister into it, and I found it super interesting, so I joined as well,” said Schmidt. “My hometown is McHenry, Ill., which is another reason why AU was my top pick. I’m excited to return to my home state and live close to my family.”

In addition to Team Colorado AAA, Schmidt has also suited up for the NCYH Jr. Eagles and Rocky Mountain Lady RoughRiders.

“A coach that stands out to me is Chris Lockrem,” noted Schmidt. “His coaching style is admirable, and he’s made a huge impact on my development as a hockey player. Winning nationals in 2021 is mainly because of the influence his coaching and developing had on our team.”

Looking to the future, Schmidt has attainable goals in mind.

“My short-term goal for hockey is preparing myself for NCAA hockey and being the best student-athlete I can be,” Schmidt said. “A long-term goal would be to develop as a hockey player and as a person at Aurora, along with making new friends in college.”

Photo/Be Feral Media

— Matt Mackinder

(March 1, 2024)

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