GUYTON — South Effingham’s Stephen Kraeling is marching toward The Citadel to compete on on the Bulldogs’ track and field team.
Kraeling, who cleared six feet, six inches in the high jump a year ago, is looking forward to achieving new heights at the college level.
“The high jump has been my favorite event so far,” Kraeling said. “It’s probably the most fun event to watch, in my opinion, and probably the most fun event to compete in because it’s jump after jump after jump and anybody can win.”
Kraeling was also a member of the Mustangs football team and entertained offers from various schools. But the future engineering major was looking for the right school that had a solid engineering program.
“I had a few football offers,” Kraeling said. “One of mine was Oberlin College in Ohio. I was seriously considering it.
“They are a great school but they didn’t really have an inhouse engineering program and I got accepted into The Citadel in December or so. Their tuition is really expensive and I filled out a recruiting form online for track just to see if I could make the team or not and I got offered a partial scholarship.
“The Citadel is an amazing school. They are ranked 22nd in the nation for engineering. They have a great alumni program and connections all over the country. I really do hope this will set me up for life.”
Kraeling feels as though he has unfinished business in his track career and is thankful he’ll get to continue on in the sport. Kraeling finished fourth overall at the Class AAAAA meet last season.
“It’s amazing because this year got canceled due to COVID-19 but I get to continue my track career into college,” he said. “I didn’t get a chance to do exactly what I wanted this year. We only had two meets.
“Most of ours were canceled due to rain and then COVID-19 came through. It really just kind of took my season away so I am glad I get to continue to run track and field. I love the sport. I love everything about it.”
The Bulldogs compete in the Southern Conference and placed sixth in the 2019 Outdoor Souther Conference Championships.