William Woods signs Burger

Friday, December 5, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:44 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Hickman coach Tonya Mirts knows how important Stephanie Burger, her senior point guard, is to the Kewpies.

“She runs us,” Mirts said. “When we play really well, it’s because she’s playing really well. We have a lot of scorers in our offense, and I think she really understands where to get the ball.”

William Woods is hoping Burger can be as effective next year. On Thursday, in a ceremony at Hickman High, Burger signed a letter of intent to play for the Owls.

“I’ve looked forward to this my whole life,” Burger said. “I’ve always wanted to play basketball, and I’m really glad I’ve got this opportunity to play four more years in college.”

Burger said several factors influenced her decision to attend William Woods, including the coaching staff and players. Melissa Brooks coaches the Owls, who are a member of the NAIA American Midwest Conference and are 4-7 this season.

Burger is the third Kewpie to make a college basketball commitment, following Amy and Jodi Bolerjack, who signed last month to play at Wyoming. It’s unlikely Burger will be the last, though.

Division I schools are recruiting senior Lauren Harris, and Mirts said Naomi Tesfamikael also has received college interest.

Although Burger can’t wait to start at William Woods, she has another season at Hickman in front of her and the Kewpies might be a state title contender. That keeps Burger from looking too far ahead.

“Right now, winning that state championship is my first priority,” she said.

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