Kari James Schmidt, '85

There was a time in high school girls’ sports that the "three sport star" was more common than it is today. During that time you would find outstanding athletes who would dominate the athletic landscape at their respective schools and the St. Louis area. Kari James Schmidt was one such athlete. Kari burst onto the IWA athletic scene as a freshman lettering in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was a starter as a freshman on the varsity basketball and softball teams. On the basketball court, Kari was a deadly shooter. When Kari was playing, the girls used the same size basketball as the boys and there was no three point line. If Kari would be playing under today’s rules, her achievements on the court would have been even more impressive. On the softball field Kari started as a 3rd baseman but showed her athleticism and commitment to team by volunteering to switch positions and becoming a catcher where she started for three years. During this time the Missouri State High School Athletic Association held the girls’ softball state championships during the fall. However, all the St. Louis teams played in the spring. As a result, IWA participated in the "St. Louis State Softball Championships" and came out winners three times in Kari’s era. But despite Kari’s brilliance in basketball and softball, it was on the volleyball court where she really shined. She was a member of three state championship teams and the starting setter on two of them. Everything ran through her. Kari’s high school athletic career was recognized on many fronts once her playing days were over. Kari was chosen as the Elite Knight by the IWA coaches; she was selected as IWA’s representative for the St. Louis Post Dispatch Scholar Athlete Award, and was recognized as the National High School Athlete of the Year--a national award recognizing Kari for her academics, athletic excellence, and community service. Finally, Kari accepted a volleyball scholarship to Wichita State University to continue her outstanding athletic career. Today Kari is a very successful businesswoman, wife of twenty years to Jim Schmidt , and mother Lauren 9, Mike 5, and Taylor 3.