Breckon Kaufman can now enjoy a stress-free senior soccer season that she hopes will end up with a state championship after coming up one victory short last year.
The McPherson High All-Stater on Wednesday signed a letter of intent with Butler Community College of El Dorado, which this fall placed third in the nation with a 21-3 record, including an 11-0 Jayhawk Conference mark. Butler actually has been third in the nation twice in the last three years.
“Now that I know I’m good enough for someone, it’s not like you have this huge pressure on you,” she said. “It’s just a huge relief really.”
Kaufman will go down as one of the most decorated girls soccer players in MHS history. She has been All-League each of her first three years, was second-team All-State as a sophomore and first team as a junior. If she makes first team as a senior, she’ll automatically qualify for the MHS Wall of Fame.
She doesn’t get a lot of notoriety because she’s a lockdown defender and not a flashy goal-scorer, but she’s one of the best in the state at what she does. She has great ball skills and good strength to win a lot of 50-50 balls.
The thought of going from one high-quality program to another tradition-rich program was appealing.
“They’re a really good team for one,” Kaufman said as she clicked off the reasons. “I felt like I was a really good fit when I went and trained with them. I really liked the coaches and since I’m going into dental hygiene, a two-year school is more what I’m looking for. It just fit.”
Kaufman has managed to overcome injuries throughout her career, but she pronounced herself 100 percent fit Wednesday for her final year. She broke her ankle prior to last season, but still managed to come back even though she wasn’t totally healthy. She’s had surgery to remove plates and screws.
“I feel like I recovered really well,” she said. “So it doesn’t really bother me anymore.”
McPherson High coach Chris Adrian is a huge Kaufman fan.
“I’m really excited that Breckon is going on to play college soccer,” he said. “She has been a rock for us on defense over the past three seasons. Last year she led a young defense that went on to only give up 15 goals all season. She is an excellent right back because she can defend really well, but at the same time she has a lot of skill with the ball and gets up the field supporting the attack.”
There are times Kaufman can rush to the front and contribute offensively.
“Last season she finished with two goals and two assists,” Adrian said. “Not only is Breckon a great player on the field, she is also a tremendous leader and has done an excellent job of helping the younger girls feel a part of the team. Her commitment during the offseason is awesome and has helped turn her into the player she is now. I hate to look too far forward, because I’m really excited to see what she can do her senior year of high school, but I have no doubt she will go on to do great things at Butler.”