Former Havre standout named DAC-10s most valuable senior
By Jason Shoot
Former Havre standout Jared Kuka, a centerfielder for Jamestown College, has been named the Dakota Athletic Conference's Most Valuable Graduating Senior.
Honors are nothing new to Kuka, who was named to the DAC-10's all-conference team and thus automatically named an NAIA All-American honorable mention. He was also a first-team selection of the All-Region 3 team.
Kuka, who batted .341 with nine home runs and 28 RBI this season for Jamestown, joined other college baseball phenoms on the USA Athletes International team in a trip to Prague Baseball Week 2001 in Prague, Czech Republic.
He helped the team obtain a silver medal with a 4-1 record. The team defeated national teams from Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Kuka also defeated the Czech Republic's under-18 national team before losing 9-6 to a team made up of NAIA All-Stars.
"He was a catalyst of our offense," Jamestown manager Tom Hager said of Kuka's production from the leadoff spot for Jamestown. "Jared is one of those players who seems to get the ball rolling every time he steps on the field. When you do that from the leadoff spot, it makes the whole lineup more effective."
Hager also said Kuka's value does not decrease when the team steps off the field.
"He's not only the leader of the team offensive, but he's the leader of the team in general," Hager said, noting Kuka was the team captain. "We're going to miss him a bunch."
Hager also said Kuka may be "the best defensive centerfielder I've ever coached. He's just a leader and he's going to be hard to replace."