190430_sports_Wetlaufer

Central senior Sydney Wetlaufer signs her letter of intent to play basketball at North Iowa Area CC during a ceremony Monday at Central High School.

Sydney Wetlaufer is the true definition of a program player.

Her freshman year, Central assistant Alecia Bell pointed her out as a hard worker and one to keep an eye on to head coach Jared Boone.

“Syd went from being a kid that when she came in, I didn’t really know who she was,” Boone said. “I remember seeing one of her games her freshman year and she kept shooting this short-corner jumper. … I went and talked to Syd and said, ‘Hey, you should be shooting threes. You’ve got a good looking shot on ya.”

From the freshman team to junior varsity to being a nightly leader for the Indians, the journey paid off Monday with Wetlaufer signing her national letter of intent to play basketball at North Iowa Area Community College.

“I’m just really excited. I didn’t think this was gonna be an opportunity for me growing up. It’s here now, and I’m just really looking forward to what’s gonna happen to me.”

Wetlaufer consistently averaged around double-digit points her senior year, ending as an all-conference, all-district and All-News-Press Now performer behind her energy and 3-point ability.

“She went about it the long way — freshman, JV, varsity. She ended up being a key contributor. A lot of the success we had was contributed to Syd. … It’s like a proud dad moment right now,” Boone said.

Wetlaufer is the fifth player under Boone to go on to the next level and joins a successful Trojan program. A consistent threat to return to the NJCAA Division II national tournament, as they did in 2019 with an overall record of 28-7, the Trojans finished third in 2014 and have been to nine tournaments. They entered the national tournament ranked No. 2 last season, and Wetlaufer is confident the Indians’ program has taught her everything to help her at the next level.

“They’ve shown me hard work and that it will pay off if I work hard,” Wetlaufer said. “This program is gonna be another opportunity for me to do that. … NIACC’s a program you can’t pass up.”

Along with remaining lethal from 3-point range, Wetlaufer’s goals at NIACC are straightforward and sky high.

“Play, have fun, win a national championship,” she said.

Brandon Zenner can be reached

at brandon.zenner@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZenner.