WYNOT — Cortney Arkfeld’s basketball dream just keeps getting better.
First she notched her 1,000th career point for the Wynot Lady Blue Devils.
Then she once again led the Lady Devils to the state championship game, and now she has signed a letter of intent to continue her basketball career at Doane University.
Arkfeld has had a huge high school career, and now has her sights set on the next stage.
Doane head coach Tracee Fairbanks thinks Arkfeld is ready for the next level.
“When recruiting players I don’t promise anyone a starting spot or minutes or anything like that,” Fairbanks said. “To me though, after following Cortney’s play, I think she has the potential to make quite the impact on our team early in her college career.”
Part of why she should be able to make an impact early is because she has competed on the biggest stage since her freshman year.
“I remember we were late in the season during her freshman year and there was a game that we were down by one late in the game,” said Wynot head coach Steve Wieseler. “She was sent to the foul line and made both freethrows in a game we went on to win.”
She’s not always, calm and collected, though, admitting she was a little nervous the day she signed her letter of intent.
“I’m nervous and excited,” said Arkfeld. “I am excited to go play in college but today’s decision was a big first step so I was a little nervous this morning.”
Arkfeld has a lot of potential, Fairbanks said.
“Cortney is a really good player but I don’t know if she realizes the potential she still has to get better,” said Fairbanks. “She is such a humble person and player, and that helps her put points up whether she is the one scoring or if she is passing off to an open shot. I don’t think she realizes yet though that she can single handedly take over a game.”
Just outside of Lincoln, Doane is a three hour drive, but they play in the Great Plains Athletic Conference which travels to other schools in places like Sioux City, Mitchell, S.D. and Sioux Falls. S.D.
This gives the Arkfeld family plenty of opportunities to support Cortney at games.
“I have family down in Lincoln, which is 15 minutes away from Doane,” says Cortney’s mom Shelly Arkfeld. “Also they come up and play Mount Marty and other local schools, so we will be able to make those games.”
Cortney was on the fence about playing sports in college, but coach Wieseler said she decided about halfway through the season to go to Doane and they decided to put the announcement off until after the season was over.
“I visited with coach Fairbanks, and her program seemed like she cares a lot about her players,” Arkfeld said. “She really cares about how they are as people. It looks like a fun program and the girls that I’ve already met are great so it seemed like I fit right in.”
Currently Cortney is focused on a new season — track, but it is a relief for her, her family, and her coaches that she has officially signed her letter of intent and has chosen her next path.