Student athletes’ path to commitment


Senior Caroline Weeren is pictured on the field playing for her club team. Weeren has committed to The Citadel for soccer and will continue her academic and athletic careers there.

Alessandra Tazoe, Editor-in-Chief

Applying to and choosing a college senior year is a momentous step in high schooler’s lives. Weighing the pros and cons, students choose a place to spend the next four years of their lives at. Committed athletes, however, must also determine the best fit athletically, and go through an extensive process that can start as early as their freshman year to commit to a college.

“Freshman year, when everyone started thinking about college, [soccer] became something I didn’t want to quit,” senior Caroline Weeren, who has committed to The Citadel for soccer, said. “I started looking at schools and thinking about where I might want to go. 

On top of balancing schoolwork and other activities in their daily lives, student athletes looking to commit must devote time to the recruitment process which includes traveling for trips to colleges and communicating with coaches.

“The recruitment process was extremely stressful. There were many important steps that had to be done before you could even reach out to coaches,” senior Zoie Tirona, who has committed to Kenyon College for dive, said. “After I finished creating my profile, I had to email many coaches. The coaches that got back to me would set up recruiting trips. I ended up with five back-to-back recruiting trips. They were extremely fun but also exhausting.”

The scouting process is unique to each athlete. Many choose to start early on, knowing exactly what they’re looking for, while others focus on the entire process their senior year. Regardless of the timeline, the process is time-consuming and can be filled with anxiety and anticipation.

“Playing in college was always a dream of mine, but it wasn’t until freshman year that I thought playing D1 was actually realistic,” senior James Pogorelc, who has committed to Stanford University for football, said.

Choosing a college at which to continue one’s academic and athletic endeavors may seem like the easy part of the journey when compared to the recruitment process, but it still requires a lot of consideration. The deciding factor could be the college name that an athlete can proudly show off or the feeling of belonging they had when they toured the campus. Whatever it may be, each athlete prioritizes what they’re seeking in a college.

“I chose Kenyon because I love how it felt like a close community and how professors seemed to really care about their students’ success,” Tirona said. “The swim and dive team was also amazing, I just could see myself being happy there.”

Despite all the additional work and stress that student athletes endure to play at the college level, the end reward is worthwhile.

“[The recruitment process was] stressful at times, but overall a great experience,” senior William Hughes, who has committed to Columbia University for football, said. “I finally found the place I want to spend the next four years, and I was extremely relieved to have finished the process and made a decision that I can be and will be happy with.”