Seymour’s Schafstall signs with IU East to play tennis

Seymour senior Brooke Schafstall is best friends with senior Lainey Jackson.

Last September, Schafstall attended Jackson’s college signing to play golf at Indiana University East. Jackson would tell Schafstall how much she liked the campus, and it turned out the IU East golf coach knew people in the Red Wolves’ women’s tennis program.

Schafstall was encouraged to look into playing collegiate tennis at IU East, so she put her name into their recruiting system.

That led to a visit last fall, and last week inside the Seymour High School cafeteria, it was Jackson in the spectator position as Schafstall signed her national letter of intent to play tennis at IU East.

Schafstall said it was between IU East and Marian to continue her tennis career, and she liked the smaller makeup of Richmond.

“I’m not a big campus type person, and I don’t like big cities, so I wanted something small,” she said. “Going to Richmond, they have Highway 27, but it’s just like Highway 50 for us. Richmond is just like Seymour.”

Another luxury of heading to IU East is Schafstall doesn’t have to live in a dorm room like most freshmen do. She’s going to be living in a four-bedroom apartment with Jackson, Jennings County’s Sophia Curry, who also will be a freshman on the golf team, and one more athlete already at IU East playing golf.

Jackson was one of many friends who were in attendance Thursday to see Schafstall put pen to paper.

“It just makes me feel really happy that so many people love and support me,” Schafstall said.

The senior has been playing in the No. 1 singles position for the last two years for the Owls. She has been a part of two straight sectional title winning teams, and last season, she advanced in the postseason singles tournament as an individual.

It was her sophomore season when Schafstall felt confident she had a chance to play at the next level.

“Sophomore year whenever I made one singles and got my spot on the tennis team, I thought, ‘I can do this. I’m good at tennis,’” she said.

IU East head coach Caspar Nolte was hired to take over the Red Wolves program in December. He was a former tennis player himself at Shawnee State University in Ohio, and he has always wanted to coach tennis.

When he took over the recruitment of Schafstall, it was an easy decision to continue to pursue her.

“They all had great things to say about her, so it was really a no-brainer,” Nolte said. “Once I talked to her, I was sure that she was somebody that we wanted at our school and with our program, so we’re excited to finally have her signed and have her become a part of our team.”

Schafstall also waa happy to get signed and have that college decision finally off of her shoulders.

“It was a big relief knowing that I’m accepted into it and going to play. It’s just all set in stone now,” she said.

She plans to study nursing at IU East.

Before she heads to Richmond, Schafstall has one more season with the Owls this spring.

The last two seasons, Seymour has made it to the finals of the Hoosier Hills Conference tournament. They won the HHC title in 2021, but Schafstall lost her match to New Albany’s Claire Meyer.

“My biggest goal is to beat New Albany. We’ve made it to the conference finals two years in a row, and I’ve lost to their one two years in a row,” she said. “Other goals is just hoping the team makes it as far as we did last year.”

Schafstall has shown a lot of growth since taking over the No. 1 singles spot as a sophomore. One of her biggest areas of improvement is being able to hang with the heavy hitters across the state.

“Pace on the ball and returning a ball that has pace on it,” Schafstall said. “I’ve gotten consistent with returning those and maybe even hitting winners off of it.”

Seymour’s season will get underway April 4, and Schafstall is excited for not only her senior season but also for what she was in store after she graduates.

“I’m actually really excited,” she said. “I know I’m going to go into college having a group of friends already there.”