Christian Kraus had a different sort of signing day ceremony than most high school athletes.
Kraus, a standout senior soccer player at Rockwood Summit High
, put pen to paper and signed to play at the University of South Carolina via a Zoom video conference
April 16. He shared the screen with teammates Keaton Hamilton (Wheeling University) and Kurt Lampen (McKendree University).
"It was a nice gesture from the staff and Coach (Tom) Wade," Kraus said. "They said, 'We have to get a Zoom going so people can check that out and you guys can get some credit.' It was definitely different, but that's what makes it memorable."
It's fitting that Kraus shared the virtual signing day spotlight with his teammates because the three seniors were integral pieces on a Falcons team that went undefeated and won the Class 3 state title in November.
Kraus set a single-season program record this fall with 45 goals, earning Player of the Year in his class from the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association. He was on the last Rockwood Summit boys soccer team to win a state title, in 2016, as a freshman.
He made it a mission to help the Falcons repeat as a senior.
"That was amazing for all of us," Kraus said. "A lot of the kids that won this year had older brothers who were on the team my freshman year. Everybody else on the team wanted one. They wanted to match their brothers and have their names up at the school."
Kraus went to Rockwood schools from kindergarten through graduation, attending Uthoff Valley Elementary, Rockwood South Middle and Rockwood Summit. He plans to study international business at South Carolina as he continues his soccer career at the Division I school.
"The thing I'll miss most is the Summit soccer program: seeing my close friends, the kids on the soccer team, I've known of a lot of them my whole life," Kraus said.