Bonaventure bound: Steamboat’s Schott inks with D1 lacrosse program
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Riley Schott is so dedicated to lacrosse, her parents Kristin and Tim built her a wall ball room in the basement of their home where she spent hours on end working on her skills.
During the summers, the Schotts embarked on countless flights back and forth from the East Coast, so Riley could compete with the Summit Elite lacrosse league.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, all that time sitting on bleachers and money spent on camps, equipment and travel was proven to be worth it, as Schott signed a national letter of intent to play college lacrosse at St. Bonaventure University, a Division I program in New York.
Schott has been holding a stick since middle school and got serious about the sport quickly. Starting in eighth grade, she flew solo to Maryland and Virginia to compete where lacrosse is a more popular sport.
“We fly to Maryland and Virginia a lot, most of the summer and the fall,” Kristin Schott said. “Playing at that level in Steamboat is difficult. She put in a lot of extra time, a lot of extra practice and just did whatever it took.”
While traveling and playing the game she loves, Schott said she definitely misses out on the typical summer experience, but she gets enough time at home to spend with friends.
Her dedication to the game and self-motivation to compete at that level attracted some attention from some college programs, which expressed interest to her club coach.
She was torn between St. Bonaventure and Jacksonville University, the best team in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Bonnies compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference and have struggled over the past decade, but that didn’t steer Schott away. In fact, it helped determine her destination.
“I went where I knew I would play all four years and where I was needed,” Schott said. “The decision came down to what would benefit me in the future.”
Additionally, St. Bonaventure was a good fit academically. Schott said she wants to pursue a degree in marketing. She also loved the mountains surrounding the campus.
“It just felt like home,” she said.
Last year, Sailors graduate Lucy Shimek went Division I when she inked with Liberty University in Virginia.
Both Shimek and Schott led the Sailors to their first playoff appearance in 18 years last spring. The team went 9-5 and 7-1 against Western Slope teams. After the season ended with a 15-7 loss to No. 15 Mullen, Schott and Shimek were named first team all-conference players.
Norris, the Steamboat Springs girls lacrosse head coach, said Schott will certainly succeed at the collegiate level, based on what she’s seen from her in high school.
“She works very hard,” Norris said. “She takes a lot of time on her own and knows what she needs to do to improve her game. She’s gone to countless camps and clinics. She decided what she wanted, she went for it, put the time in and committed.”
Schott said she still keeps in touch with Shimek. If she had selected Jacksonville, she would have squared off with Shimek throughout the spring.
No matter where she decided, Schott’s parents were confident she would enjoy it.
“She can hop into any situation and adjust and adopt to it,” Tim Schott said. “And she’s just a really good athlete. Her athletic ability carries her a lot. When she didn’t have the same stick skills, (she used) athletic ability to adapt and adjust.”
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