The anchor of the Texas defense for four seasons, senior Laura Kram has played a key role in helping the Longhorns soccer team earn three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Recently, this Wildwood, Mo., native sat down and went from A to Z with TexasSports.com.
A for All-Everything
Laura Sue, as she's called (for no particular reason) by her roommate Kelly McDonald, is All-Everything. All-Big 12. All-Central Region. Freshman All-American. Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. Big 12 All-Tournament Team. Academic All-Big 12. High School All-American. All-State (Missouri). All-Metro (St. Louis). WHEW ...
B for Biggest smile
Laura Kram has the BIGGEST smile you've ever seen. Go ahead, look. See? She claims her best feature is the ability to smile and make others smile. You smiled, didn't you?
C for Campus wildlife
Laura DOES NOT smile about the squirrels and pigeons on the UT campus. In fact, she's terrified of them. Can you blame her? Those suckers aren't scared of anything. She fears one day a squirrel will jump onto her head as she's walking through campus. And they just might ...
D for Doesn't remember her childhood
Much of her childhood seems to be a fog. It could be that Laura blocked it out because she used to suck her thumb and had to get braces twice. That can be pretty traumatic for a kid. For what it's worth, she could now do toothpaste commercials.
E for Expert
Besides being one of the Longhorns top defenders, Kram has also lent her expertise to helping kids learn the game of soccer as she has worked soccer camps back home in Missouri.
F for Fisher-Price bunnies
Rubbing the soft ears of Fisher-Price bunnies against her lips before bed took the place of sucking her thumb. How long did this fixation last? No comment — except to say Laura now has to get them off eBay.
G for George W. Bush
One person Laura wants to meet is President George W. Bush. She thinks he is sooooooo cute, and doesn't like it when people make fun of him. But it's sooooooo easy ...
H for Hockey-lover
Laura doesn't watch soccer!?!? Shocking!! She does, however, love to watch hockey and dreams of seeing her St. Louis Blues play for the Stanley Cup.
I for In-line skating
Though she's yet to find a suitable place in Austin, Laura likes to go in-line skating for fun. She also likes to go jogging, see movies, hear live music, take long walks on the beach ... Oops, wrong interview.
J for Johnny Knoxville
Laura once met MTV reality-show star Johnny Knoxville down on 6th Street and actually gave him a little peck on the cheek. Don't worry, her boyfriend is OK with it.
K for Kitchen issues
Laura HATES when people don't put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher when it's empty or stuff the trashcan until it's overflowing. "JUST TAKE IT OUT!" Poor Kelly ...
L for Labradors
The Kram daughters are all the proud mothers of yellow labs. Laura's dog is named Boo-Boo, while the other two (belonging to sisters Jennifer & Kelly) are Charlie & Barkley. They must be good at rebounding. Either that or they talk too much.
M for Memories of autumn
Crisp autumn air has a smell that reminds Laura Sue of sitting on the porch with her family back in Missouri and eating her mom's chili. We haven't hit that season just yet, but Laura likes the Texas weather anyway.
N for Nicholas Sparks
Laura just finished reading "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks. "A Southern-fried story of love-lost-and-found-again, 'The Notebook' revolves around a single time-honored romantic dilemma: will beautiful Allison Nelson stay with Mr. Respectability (to whom she is engaged), or will she hook up with Noah, the romantic rascal she left so many years ago? Decades later, after Allison develops Alzheimer's, her beau uses "the notebook" to read her the story of the great love she's forgotten." Wasn't that already a Meg Ryan movie?
O for Old days
Laura wishes she could have seen her grandparents when they were growing up. To see where her family came from and how hard they worked in the old days would be remarkable. Her grandmother also makes some wonderful homemade jelly.
P for Printing
Laura prints like a fourth grader, but that's a good thing. Her printing is letter-perfect, just like when she had to write on that paper where the lines were divided in half during elementary school.
Q for "Quite uncoordinated"
In her own words, Laura is "quite uncoordinated." Before games, Laura provides her teammates with a little comic relief by dancing (badly) in the locker room. She also can't sing or play an instrument.
R for "Raviolia"
No, it's not a real word, but Laura uses it anyway. She can't say ravioli, or idea (she says 'ideal'). There's more, but why dwell? She claims to have picked up this trait from her mom, Vickie.
S for Steel Pulse
Laura caught Grammy-winning reggae band Steel Pulse's show in St. Louis over the summer. The UK's most highly regarded roots reggae outfit is known worldwide for their commitment to fighting injustice, educating the masses and promoting positive messages through spiritually uplifting music. Steel Pulse became the first reggae band ever to perform during the inaugural festivities in Washington D.C. when they performed for President Clinton in 1993. The band has released 19 albums since 1978.
T for "Tommy Boy"
Laura claims to be a pretty good driver because she's only had one accident, but others would disagree. After Laura ran into a light post in an empty parking lot, her dad Hank had the misfortune of having the hood of Laura's car fly up while he was trying to drive it, ala David Spade & Chris Farley in "Tommy Boy." If you're not laughing right now, rent the movie.
U for "U can do it!"
If there's one thing Laura's learned since she's been here, it's that if you can get through college juggling school work and athletics, you can do almost anything.
V for Vickie Kram
In Laura's own words, her mother Vickie "is a good mom, plain and simple." That's beautiful, man.
W for Wildwood, Mo.
Laura hails from Wildwood, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis. Nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Missouri's third-largest city (geographically) "blends a touch of city and country living," and features a breathtaking panoramic landscape.
X for siX state championships
A five-year captain, Laura led the Busch Soccer Club to six straight Missouri state championships. Now that's a dynasty.
Y for Yappers
Just a few minutes of quiet. That's all Laura asks for in the morning. No yappers and no yapping. Just give her five minutes to get her thoughts together, and she'll be fine.
Z for Zodiac sign
Not only does Laura not believe in astrology, she's not even sure of her Zodiac sign. We'll help her out. Born August 5, 1982, she is a Leo. In other words, Laura, "Your sunny disposition is always a happy sight. You are fun and playful and enjoy being around people who are exciting. You always liven up a party and you make a great cheerleader for your friends. You are the first to say, "You can do it!" or "Wow! You did a great job!" You are also ambitious and know you must work hard so you can play hard." Now you know.