Written by Riley Thompson
Contributions by Tejas Patel
As student athletes begin their junior year, they start to decide whether or not to continue their career in sports. If they decide to, they will begin contacting coaches at the collegiate level. It can be difficult to find the perfect school, not only a school that they like academically, but also one with the right athletic program.
In order to get an understanding of not only the college itself but also their athletics, coaches often ask recruits to stay overnight for a visit. Overnights are great because a prospective student can get a true feel of what it would be like to be a student at that college. Not only does the student sleep in the dorms, but he or she also gets to shadow one of the athletes in a college class.
How does the recruiting process work? First, the high school athlete has to figure out where he or she wants to go. Making a list of colleges that he or she is interested in can help narrow the search. After a student knows where s/he wants to go, the student can begin emailing the coaches from the schools.
In the email, students should state who they are, where they currently play, including any involvement with club teams. To make the email most effective, prospective athletes attach a highlight video clip of past games to catch a coach’s interest. If the coach is interested, he or she will email the athlete and eventually set up an overnight date. The coach will offer scholarships to win over the athlete’s interest in the program.
Since only Division 1 and Division 2 schools can offer scholarships, Division 3 schools offer “academic scholarships” in place of athletic scholarships. At the Division 1 or Division 2 level, coaches will give students a deadline by which the student must tell the coach whether or not he or she will be attending the school in the fall. Division 3 schools will also contact students a week after the overnight to get the students’ decision. This part of the process is called the “verbal commitment”. This is the first step in finalizing the choice for college.
After making the final decision on where to attend, the student will sign on with the team making him or her an official member of the program.
Many senior athletes this year had the chance to attend overnights in the hopes of continuing their athletic careers into college.
Senior Will Fritz attended an overnight at Johnson and Wales which is a Division 3 school in Rhode Island. Will hopes to pursue baseball. He participates in football, basketball, and baseball at Morgan. “The overnight was nice. Food was good; people were friendly. The players were bros, and they were nice. The coach was interested in me so that’s why I went. Also I want to study culinary.”
Senior Dylan Ketch has been an active participant in Morgan sports. He recently narrowed his search on schools, deciding on Salve Regina as his number one. Dylan hopes to pursue his passion for baseball. He has been starting varsity as Morgan’s catcher since his sophomore year. “The overnight was fun. I met the baseball guys, and we went to dinner. I liked the location, and since the coach was younger, I feel like I related better to him because he understands what it is like to be a kid.”
Senior Kate Mozzochi has set her sights on Lafayette. Kate plans to continue her track career at Lafayette as a Leopard. Kate is a hurdler, who has participated in indoor and outdoor track since her freshman year.
Senior Nola Neri hopes to continue her soccer career at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Nola has been playing soccer for almost all her life, and she has made her mark on the Morgan Girls Soccer team as a 4 year starter. “I like Wesleyan because it is a really good liberal arts school, and it has a good science program which is what I want to go into. It is small, so that would be small class sizes which is good. They are in a good soccer conference, I like the coach. She seems like a good coach, and she has shown a lot of interest in me and come to a bunch of my games. The players on the team are very close, when I was at the overnight we had team breakfast and team dinner and a lot of the things they did was together as a team which was nice.”
Senior Josie Sullivan also plans on continuing her soccer career in college. Josie led her team on the field this year as captain earning a 12-3-1 season.
Senior Sami Ashton has made the decision to continue her basketball career at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.