Tonganoxie High athlete signs to compete in track at Tabor for former THS coach
Tabor’s Kroeker taught in Tonganoxie in the early 1980s
A Tonganoxie High School track team member will compete in college for a coach with THS ties.
David Scharff, a THS senior, signed Friday to compete in track and field at Tabor College in Hillsboro.
On hand for the signing was Dave Kroeker, men’s track and field coach at TC. Kroeker taught business classes and helped coach football and boys basketball at THS from 1983-86.
“I take special interest in athletes from Tongie because I know more about the school, community and area than I know about most schools and towns from where I have most of my recruits,” Kroeker said.
Scharff said a combination of things led him to picking Tabor of the NAIA.
“The facilities were nice,” Scharff said about why he chose Tabor. “The coach has a lot of experience. The campus was fun. Not too big; not too small.”
Scharff plans to major in business at the school.
The THS senior said he likely will compete as a decathlete for the Bluejays.
His list of events this spring for the Chieftains should help in his preparation for decathlons in college.
Scharff is competing in the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, 800, 400 and 200 meters and long jump and high jump.
For Scharff, there were several schools he was looking at, including University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Friends University in Wichita, Ottawa University and William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Scharff eventually selected Tabor, much to Kroeker’s liking.
“David is the first THS athlete that has chosen to attend Tabor College of the years that I have recruited and coached track and field at Tabor College,” Kroeker said. “He is not the first one I have tried to recruit from THS but the first who has signed with us. I hope he is not the last.
“THS has traditionally had a strong track and field program.”
Scharff did not compete in track his freshman year because of injury, but has on the track and field team ever since.
His sophomore year, he just missed a state berth with the 4x100 relay team, which took fifth at regionals. The top four teams advance to state.
Last season, he again was close to qualifying for state, as he placed sixth at the Class 4A regional at Piper.
In the winter, he competed for the Northeast Kansas Track Club and at Johnson County Community College, Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University. He also compete in multiple meets at the University of Missouri and at the national meet in Birmingham, Ala.
“My goal is to make it to state this year and make a pretty good run in state,” Scharff said. “Collegiately, I’m trying to be an all-American in at least two or three years.
“My junior and senior years I’d like to be an all-American.”
Kroeker would be fine with Scharff achieving those goals. He has been at Tabor since 1997 and was Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference co-coach of the year for women’s track in 2003 and men’s track in 2004.
“Recruiting in the age of the Internet allows me to see meet results for lots of athletes, and David's PRs from his junior year sparked my interest,” Kroeker said about Scharff’s personal records. “I believe he is not only going to have a great spring in track and field for THS but that he will continue to improve over his college years and make a positive contribution to both our men's track and field team but also to our campus as well.”