This story is sponsored by Dental Clinic of Marshfield
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – Taylor Varsho seemed to be a sure-fire Division I basketball prospect during her stellar sophomore and juniors seasons on the Marshfield girls team. Then a devastating knee injury at a practice prior to a playoff game in 2011 put those dreams on hold – for a bit.
Varsho worked hard to make it back for her senior year and Colorado State University was one of the few schools that stuck with her throughout the process.
On Thursday in front of teammates, coaches, classmates and teachers in the Marshfield High School Commons, Varsho made it official and signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball at Colorado State in Fort Collins.
“When I initially got hurt I was so worried about someone not finding me or someone not being able to see what my talent was,” Varsho said. “Colorado State was one of the colleges that was there for me throughout it.
“Their team gets along so well. They’re there for each other and they have one major goal – to win the NCAA Tournament. Regardless of who plays or who is out there, they are for each other at all points.”
Varsho will leave Marshfield as one of the program’s most decorated players. She finishes her career with a school-record 1,370 points, was twice chosen as the Wisconsin Valley Conference player of the year and was a three-time all-conference first-team and all-state pick. The Tigers went 61-13 during her three years on the varsity team, making the WIAA sectionals all three seasons and winning two WVC titles.
“She was a kid that walked in from day one and wanted to play at that next level,” Marshfield coach Heidi Michaelis said. “She said it and was very adamant about it. Knowing how she was and the way she carried herself, her driven demeanor, you knew it was going to happen. When the knee injury happened, it definitely shook not only her but all of us. Here’s a kid that has put in all this work and you know she deserves to play at the next level. It was hard.”
Varsho said Colorado State’s patience with her recovery from the knee injury was a big factor in her choosing to go to the school.
Varsho returned to score 18.9 points a game last season, helping the Tigers reach the WIAA Division 1 sectional finals.
“When I had my injury, not a lot of people were contacting me,” Varsho said. “They have to know the player before they say yes to her. The injury backed down a lot of colleges. Colorado State stuck with me. They wanted me. They showed a lot of patience. I came back Dec. 16 and played in the first conference game and I showed them.
“They were so family-based to me. They were there for me. I know that they will take care of me and I will be welcome there.”
Varsho, who will major in elementary education, said her goal was to play Division I basketball. This summer when she joins her new team, she will accomplish that goal.
“I’m really excited,” Varsho said. “I feel safe down there, Fort Collins is beautiful, and I just feel Colorado State is the best fit for me.”
Colorado State, which finished 13-17 overall and 9-5 in the Mountain West Conference, announced Wednesday that head coach Kristen Holt resigned. Assistant Dick Lien will serve as interim head coach and a search for a new head coach will begin immediately.