One day Dakota Brumley decided to go out for track and field.
It was her junior year at Camdenton and after basketball season ended, she decided it would be a lot better use of her time than sitting around at home in boredom. Well, little did she know that decision would ultimately lead her to the college ranks and Brumley made it official on Friday as she signed with NAIA Cottey College with coaches and friends in attendance.
“I was like, ‘Oh, I might as well do track because all my friends are doing it,’” Brumley recalled. “It ended up being really fun and so far I’ve liked literally everything about it.
“I think it is a really amazing opportunity and I’m super excited to be able to continue doing it. I think Coach (John) McNabb and all the other coaches prepared me a lot and it is going to be a good time.”
Despite having just two years on her resume, Brumley put the work in as a thrower and the school in Nevada, Mo., took notice as the Comets saw someone who could potentially make a difference in the shot put, discus, weight throw and javelin among other events. Brumley said she plans to study psychology at the school.
“I visited a lot, talked to their track coach and he offered me a scholarship,” Brumley said of Coach Anthony Skiles. “I decided that I loved the school a lot and he gave me the opportunity so I wanted to take that.”
All this after what simply began as something to do. Not a bad way to pursue a path towards higher education.
“Probably the greatest thing about this is that she is such a good kid,” Camdenton coach John McNabb said. She’s worked at it and for her to get an opportunity to go on to school and have track help pay for that is just a great thing.
“She has improved a lot and it is great to see a kid get an opportunity to extend an athletic career when it helps them get to the college level… You weren’t really sure what was going to happen after she finished high school and to have this opportunity is icing on the cake.”
While Brumley put in the work, she noted that taking the step to the next level would not have been possible without all those who have supported her every step of the way.
“I think all the people here have pushed me to be a better athlete and the coaches also prepared me extremely well so literally everything about this place got me to where I am,” she said of Camdenton.
McNabb has certainly seen that in action.
“A lot of the coaches here have taken her under their wings,” the coach noted. I know Coach (Staci) Caffey has been phenomenal for her and it is one of the great advantages of having the head basketball coach on your track staff.”
But while there has been a strong supporting cast behind Brumley, the senior has never hesitated to return the favor and it is the one of the things McNabb will miss the most about her as he described her selflessness as one of her greatest assets.
“Nobody has a bad thing to say about Dakota,” the coach remarked. “A lot of times you hear about how athletes are great teammates and she really is. She tries to do everything she can to help her teammates, to encourage them and all the kids think the world of her… She is a joy to have around.”
Brumley is looking forward to the next chapter and making new friends, but she will never forget her time as a Laker. Her advice to others is to simply keep going.
“I think I am going to miss everything,” she said. “Being a Laker has meant a lot and I’m glad I got to do it with all these people.”