Will Fife had three good reasons in selecting the University of Missouri to continue his track and field career.
"It's close to home, I like the school and it's where my doctors are," Fife said.
Lately, that last reason has become very important for the Helias High School senior. Fife recently underwent knee surgery after tearing his ACL and meniscus during the Class 4 state championship football game against Webb City at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
"It's a slow process and I hope to be all healed by fall," Fife said.
Fife, who also will have shoulder surgery in about a month for another football injury, is the defending Class 3 state champion in the shot put. His toss of 57-feet, 7 3/4 inches was the top throw in the championships last May. As a sophomore, Fife was second in Class 3 in the discus with a toss of 164-10.
With his surgeries, Fife will miss his senior track and field season at Helias.
"I don't think it's set in yet, but it will be disappointing not to be able to defend my state title," Fife said.
But the important thing is Fife will be ready to go when school starts next fall.
"It's a slow process and I hope to be all healed by fall," said Fife, who is unsure of his college major. "It will take about six months with the knee, which is June. And that's about the time the shoulder should be ready to go as well."
Fife started getting the attention of NCAA Division I programs during his sophomore season.
"When I started to get my distance out there, I started getting letters from coaches," Fife said.
The Missouri track program has no concerns about Fife's health heading into the season.
"The coaches said they have people get injured and they're ready to come back after getting things fixed," Fife said.