(KMAland) -- Throughout the month of August, KMA Sports is announcing its latest Hall of Fame class. Today, one of the area’s finest all-around athletes of the past decade joins the Hall.
Bedford’s Kayla (Lindenmeyer) Launius may very well be one of the greatest defensive players in KMAland history. The school-record holder for steals in a game (13), season (171) and career (336), Launius helped the Bulldogs advance farther than any basketball team in school history.
“(There was a) camaraderie between me and my teammates,” Launius said about her time at Bedford. “We got to play a lot of different sports together. Being at a smaller school allowed us to be so close-knit. Most of my memories are just the friendships that we formed.”
Launius was named to two All-State teams in 2012 and 2013, picking up a first-team nod in both years while leading the Bulldogs to state in 2011 and 2012. The 2012 tournament saw Bedford pick up a state runner-up finish.
“Those are times that I will cherish and remember forever,” Launius said. “Going to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, playing in front of a huge crowd like that is something you’ll always remember. Being there and making history by getting to that state championship game was incredible.”
While Launius was hardly alone on those great Bedford teams, basketball is a sport that was ingrained in her at an early age.
“My dad is a basketball fanatic,” Launius said. “I started playing in first grade, and he coached me in fourth, fifth and sixth.”
With basketball a lifelong passion in her family, Launius found another passion in middle school when she started playing volleyball.
“I absolutely loved it,” she said.
And volleyball seemingly loved her. She grew into a second-team All-State pick by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association in 2012, setting a school-record for kill efficiency with a .391 hitting percentage.
She also picked up a pair of fifth-place medals in the long jump at the state track & field meet to complete one of the best all-around athletic careers of the 2010s.
Launius was such a well-rounded athlete that she signed to play basketball at MidAmerica Nazarene and later finished her career at the school as a volleyball player.
“It was a push and pull,” Launius said. “I went (to MNU) for basketball, but I just missed volleyball. I think that had to do with the impact Coach (Deb) Bonde had on me as a player. I missed those volleyball dynamics, and it was an amazing experience (to play in college).”
Listen to much more with our latest KMA Sports Hall of Famer in the full interview from Friday’s Upon Further Review linked below.
2020 KMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS