Rookie Recruits

Students at West tell their stories of being recruited.

Caleb Walker and Lexi Hart

High school sports not only act as a way for students to participate in friendly competition with peers, but also as a bridge to collegiate athletics.  Players at the high school level who show signs of talent and potential are thrusted into the wild world of recruitment.

During the final two years of high school, student athletes may correspond with college coaches and recruiters.  Correspondence may take place in a variety of ways.  Many websites exist such as Captain U, where athletes may post film of them playing their specific sport.  This film is accessible by collegiate staffs around the country.  

Another way for high schoolers to get their name out is by directly contacting the coaches of colleges of which they are interested in.

“I emailed them and I told them that I’m considering swimming in college and for them to look at my profile, and after I see that they have looked at my profile, I hit them hard with the emails,” senior Hannah Heaton said.

Collegiate athletic programs also host camps in which student athletes are given the opportunity to showcase their abilities directly in front of the college’s staff.

“Nebraska started recruiting me before my freshman year because I went to their camp, and the coach said that he liked my playing style and that we would be in contact in the future,” Senior Sinclaire Miramontez said.

Miramontez committed her sophomore year, and is looking forward to finally attending Nebraska University and continuing the sport she loves.

When there is a mutual interest between an athlete and college, the match is lit in the recruiting process.

Rookie Recruits

Currently, there are a variety of athletes who have either completed, or are participating in the recruiting process.  Seniors Hannah Heaton, Josh Compton and Hannah Miller are all students who hope to compete at the next level.  Heaton wishes to competitively swim, Compton aspires to play baseball, and Miller desires to continue her soccer career.

Heaton has been competitively swimming since she was a kid. With high school coming to an end, she has no intention to tie a bow on her swimming career.

“I never really considered being a college athlete until I got into high school and realized that I was good at swimming,” Heaton said.

Heaton is very excited about pursuing collegiate swim. She appreciates that the two Colorado schools she’s considering, look at more than just her times.

The collegiate baseball recruiting process proves to be one in its own.  Rather than sending game footage of the athlete to the college coaches, baseball requires in-person evaluation.

“I am still attending camps and everything so I can get in front of coaches and get my name out there,” Compton said.  “It is a little difficult because baseball season is in the spring which creates a bit of a time crunch.”

Connections are key when trying to be considered at the next level.

“My coaches know a lot of college coaches because they played with them before, and many of them played at the next level.  They help a ton with getting your name to the college scouts and the recruiting staff.”  

Compton is “nearing the commitment stage” as his senior season approaches.

While all of the other athletes are in the midst of the recruiting process, Miller’s recruitment is nearing its end.  Kicking around a soccer ball since birth, she will be attending Creighton University are will be apart of the soccer team.

Because talented soccer players are so valuable, the recruiting process must begin relatively early.

“Freshman year was the first time I was truly put in front of the eyes of college coaches.  They showed interest in me so I had to show interest back,” Miller explained.

Miller seems to have always been aspiring to be Blue Jay.

“I’ve been going to their camps since I was very young.  Every time I visited, I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere and the community.  I will be signing there on Feb. 3,” Miller said.

Despite the fact that the question of commitment has been answered, Miller and the Creighton staff maintain regular correspondence.

“We text about every other week and I just tell about anything new in my life and how everything is going.  It is a nice personal connection with the coaching staff,” Miller explained.

Although all of the athletes have had different experiences with the recruitment process, the eyes of colleges add a boost of confidence.

“It’s a great feeling to have someone tell you they want you to play for them and that you are good enough to succeed at the next level. Even if at times I hated the process, it was still nice knowing that I had the capabilities to make it to the next level,” Miramontez said.