It’s been more than a year in the making, but Jasmine Kohl has finally committed to a school in the US for the fall of 2023.
Kohl will be heading to Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois this upcoming fall to play softball and hockey. Lake Forest College is located just 25 miles northeast from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Kohl originally moved to Prince Albert from her hometown of Moose Jaw in the fall of 2020 to join the Northern Bears program.
She says the experience moving away from home has been invaluable and that she is looking forward to making many new connections while at college.
“I think what I’m most excited for is new people and just to be in a new place. When I moved from Moose Jaw, it wasn’t super far, but the move and meeting new people was probably one of the best things that I’ve had in my life so far. I think going there with so much more people and so many more things to do with sports and activities, that is just going to open my mind up to a whole bunch of new things and people and it’ll be awesome. That’s probably what I’m most excited for.”
At the time of publishing, Kohl has recorded 10 goals and 15 assists over 59 career games as a Northern Bear.
She says her time with the Bears helped with her development as a hockey player, but also as an escape from everything going on in terms of the pandemic.
“My first year I moved here. I was a rookie. I was new to the city, a new billet, and it was a COVID year. Things were not always great, but we had practices and it was consistent and we always kept going and we always kept playing. I felt like hockey was my escape from everything else that was going around. So that was probably one of my big turning points in my hockey career. The year after that, leading into this year, the coaches have been very welcoming to everyone, and I feel as though my play has gotten a lot better through that.”
Several schools have shown interest in Jasmine Kohl over the past year and a half. Shawn Kohl, Jasmine’s father, says there was a lot of information to digest in the recruitment process.
“There were a lot of good programs and a lot of good coaches, a lot of good schools. When you start to get to know them, and you build personal relationships with the coaches and the programs themselves and you see how much they want them to join their programs and they become good friends with your family and also with Jasmine. It’s difficult when you have to make a decision and you have to tell a bunch of people that you really like that you have to say no to them. It makes the process a little more difficult, but there were so many schools and so many opportunities that sometimes it was overwhelming, just trying to navigate through them all.”
The Lake Forest College Foresters compete at the NCAA Division III level in both women’s hockey and softball.
The softball Foresters finished atop the Midwest Conference in 2022 with a record 15-1 in conference play and a 24-15 record overall.
The women’s hockey program at Lake Forest College has posted a 8-4-2 record in conference play in the 2022-2023 season.
There were plenty of factors that the Kohl family took a look at before Jasmine committed.
“When we were doing research about the schools, the programs, the divisions that they were going to play, the competition level, the education factor, the location, the ability to travel there with him as far as international airports, and taking in the financial scholarships into consideration, there was really a lot of factors that we investigated thoroughly.” Shawn says. “In the end, Jasmine really liked the program when it came to softball and hockey. She really liked the education side of it, and the research that we did suggested that it was a very highly rated school, so, when you take all of the factors into consideration, that’s what made the decision for her.”
Kohl plans to pursue a degree in psychology at Lake Forest College with her long term career goal being to become a psychiatrist.
She has been a member of the Global Sports Academy at Carlton Comprehensive High School since she moved to Prince Albert. She gives a lot of credit to her coach with the Global Sports Academy, Doan Smith, for helping her reach the next level.
“Doan Smith has been working with me for the past two years now, and he’s probably been one of the best coaches for me in my life because he knows how to push you to your limits while still having fun, which has made me love the sport even more.”
While on the softball diamond, Jasmine Kohl can be found most often that not at the shortstop position or pitching for her team.
She says her determination is a strength of her game in both hockey and softball.
“You see it on the ice, battling in the corners or skating as hard as I can down the ice, making the smart plays. In softball, you more so see it, making a diving catch and turning, throwing on my knees to first base or I’ll be down I’ll be down two strikes and I’m the last batter and I have that grit in me that I need to put the ball in play, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to put that ball in play.”
It’s a wide range of emotions for Shawn Kohl, who says he is proud to see Jasmine compete at the next level.
“Excitement, a lot of pride, knowing that she’s put in so much hard work and battled through a lot of obstacles. It’s still a lot of pride in her ability to fight through that stuff.”
Jasmine’s parents, Tammy and Shawn will be tasked with keeping up with both of her sports while she is with the Foresters. Shawn says only having to follow two sports is a lot less than they are used to.
“Jasmine is one of those kids that just can’t sit idle. She’s always played multiple sports. She was exceptional in volleyball. She was good at basketball. She played any school sport. She was always tops in track and field and hockey. So growing up with her and going through this process and her developing into this type of athlete and student. It’s always been a balancing act and it’s always been very difficult on our schedules always, so I am kind of looking forward to only tracking two teams instead of eight teams. It’s going to be actually probably a little easier on us.”