Rezabek to be a dual-sport athlete for the Beavers
Camdenton senior Coley Rezabek has never had any trouble finding time to offer her talents in multiple sports for the Lakers.
The four-sport athlete has participated in golf, tennis, basketball and track and field for the Lakers and even went straight to a district tennis tournament moments after helping the golf team capture a district team title on the same day earlier this fall. After unselfishly dedicating her time for Camdenton, it turns out that Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn., also took notice of the senior’s dedication and asked her to join the women’s basketball and track and field programs.
Rezabek officially agreed to the offer on Wednesday in Camdenton and signed with the Beavers where she will compete at the NCAA Division II level.
“It kind of gave me a little taste of what it is going to be like, but I am excited,” Rezabek said of being a dual-sport athlete this past fall competing in golf and tennis. “Both coaches at Bemidji are willing to work with me for both sports, so it should work out good.”
When it comes to basketball and track and field, the senior said she just loves the competitiveness, which perhaps embodies her overall spirit when it comes to sports.
“Especially in basketball, you can go as hard as you want to go. In track, it is kind of the same way,” said Rezabek who throws the javelin. “It is not really competitive like facing someone one-on-one, but if someone puts up better numbers than you, then you are just determined to go out there and throw even further. So, just the competitive drive really gets me going.”
Rezabek’s ambitions in the sport of basketball began at an early age when she picked up a ball in kindergarten.
“It is a dream come true. I mean, this is 12 years in the making,” the senior said of being able to play college basketball. “Now that it is actually here, I just can’t believe it and I am just so excited. I cannot wait to get on the court and just keep getting better.”
Camdenton girls’ basketball coach Staci Caffey was certainly not surprised that the dream became a reality and the coach is glad to see another Rezabek in the college ranks with Coley’s older sister Bailey, a 2016 Camdenton graduate, playing for Division II Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.
“It is definitely exciting to see a player move on to the next level because you see every day how hard they work,” Caffey pointed out. “So it is kind of reassuring how their hard work is paying off and Coley is definitely one that has been working hard for this. This has been a goal of hers and it is exciting to see her advance her career.
“I think what is even more exciting is the fact that her sister just did it a couple of years ago. That is fun to see as a coach and know that I’ve been a part of that experience,” the coach added.
The path to becoming a college basketball player was not an easy one though as Rezabek remembers all those hours in the gym.
“It took a lot of hard work. Not just during practice, but after practice,” the senior noted. “You have to put those minutes in the gym when nobody is watching. That is personally when I think you get the best is when nobody is watching you because you are not trying to show off for anybody. You are just trying to work on your individual game and just get better at the things you know are your weaknesses and make them your strengths.”
Caffey can certainly account for her work ethic. After each season, the coach challenges each player to score 30,000 points from the last game to the first day of practice and Rezabek has met that goal every single year. The coach also enjoys watching the senior be a leader, which others can learn from.
“Coley is definitely one of the first ones in the gym and one of the last ones to leave,” the coach stated. “The leadership she puts in, she does it by example not only physically, but by her competitive spirit. These girls look up to her and her positive attitude that she brings every day.
“I think they’ll learn a lot from that attitude she brings. To never give up no matter what and if you have a goal, go get it. So I think she’ll pass on that positive spirit and attitude,” the coach added.
At the same time, the coach said Bemidji State should be pretty excited about what they are getting in a 5-foot-10 forward who earned All-Ozark Conference First Team and All-District First Team honors as a junior, averaging 20.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
“Bemidji is getting a top-notch wonderful student and athlete. Coley is definitely one that puts everyone else first and is a very selfless player. She is fun to watch as a player who can play inside, shoot the ball outside and shoot it off the dribble. She is just a great all-around asset.”
Bemidji State Women’s Basketball Coach Chelsea Deville certainly likes what she sees.
“We are excited to add more athleticism at our wing spot with Coley. She has great instinct as a player,” the coach stated in a press release.
When she is not busy putting up shots in the gym, Rezabek will be throwing a javelin for the Beavers. The senior was a new addition to the track and field team last spring and had never thrown a javelin before then, but her efforts nearly earned herself a spot in the state track and field meet. It was undoubtedly a welcome addition for Camdenton Girls’ Track and Field Coach John McNabb.
“She is just such a great kid and somebody that is willing to learn. Obviously she comes in and goes from knowing nothing about the javelin at the beginning of the season to being a factor all season long so we are excited about that,” the coach said. “She is a hard worker that will do anything you ask and the quality of person they (Bemidji State) is getting is the most important thing.”
McNabb said he is excited that Rezabek will get to be a two-sport athlete and he is glad to see that her talents will be able to help pay for her education. In the meantime, he is counting on her to be a a key contributor in helping the program win its second straight Class 4 team state championship.
“By her own admission last year, she struggled a little at sectionals and with her performance during the season, she should have made it to the state meet and scored points,” the coach remarked.
“Obviously in our situation this year, no pressure or anything like that,” he added with a smile, “but we have to look for a way to score as many points as we can in as many events as we can. Now that she has had the experience, I’m counting on her to be a big part of this season.”
After track and field season and graduation, Rezabek will make the trip up north. The school, located 779 miles and about 12 hours north of Camdenton, will sort of be a homecoming for Rezabek who was born in Orono, Minn., a little over 200 miles away near Minneapolis. Rezabek moved to Camdenton around the age of four, but her father still lives there.
“I’m just looking forward to being back in my home state and just being able to meet new people and kind of get used to the swing of things,” Rezabek said. “My dad lives up there so I’m excited to get to have them see me play.
“It is going to be a little chilly, but I’ll get use to it though,” the senior said with a smile.”
Rezabek will not leave though without remembering all her experiences as a Camdenton Laker. It is that sense of community that she may remember most.
“I’m going to miss my coaches. This is honestly how I got here and Coach Caffey has been pushing me beyond what I think I could’ve done,” the senior said. “I’m going to miss playing with my teammates, my track coaches and just really the community as a whole. Just knowing that I can always come back and have people looking out for me and wanting to hear how I’ve been doing up there. I really will miss Camdenton.”
The coaches will not soon forget Rezabek either and not just her play, but her character.
“I think the thing I am going to miss about her more than anything is the fact that she is a great teammate,” McNabb stated. “She was with us at the state meet last year as one of our alternates and was right in the middle of everything and a great cheerleader for all the other kids. Sometimes, a kid who is an alternate is not really that into it, but she certainly was. Being a great teammate is a big part of it.”
“I’ll miss everything about her. She is kind of a coach’s dream as far as getting someone that is always positive and has an upbeat positive spirit,” added Caffey. “She is always willing to do everything that it takes in what is best for the team. With that said, she is just an amazing athlete.”
Rezabek said she is currently undecided on what she will plan to study.