Students continue their athletic careers after high school


photo contributed by Marcus Dux

Junior Marcus Dux committed to play baseball at Virginia Tech.

Gray Jones, News Editor

From learning the importance of a team to building lifelong friendships and memories, sports have played an integral part in many students’ lives, leading them to pursue their athletic careers in college.

“I want to play in college because lacrosse has been a part of my life for so long and not playing would be weird,” senior Taylor Hannam-Zatz said.

Hannam-Zatz committed to Ohio Northern University for Division lll lacrosse in February of her junior year. She will be a defender, which she has trained for most of her 13 years playing.

Picking the right college can be challenging, especially when going far away from home. Student athletes must look at both the athletic and social components when choosing their future school.

“I picked Ohio Northern because I loved the team, the coaches and the school itself,” Hannam-Zatz said. “The atmosphere there was welcoming, and I immediately knew that it was the school for me.”

The recruitment process can be long and tedious as students must attend numerous college camps and clinics to prepare and get a glimpse of student athlete life. 

“I went to each school and did an official overnight where I stayed with players and went to classes,” Hannam-Zatz said.

Visiting schools and talking to coaches is a necessity when choosing a school as it provides athletes with firsthand experience of what life would be like as an athlete in that environment.

“I spent years talking to coaches and attending showcase tournaments to be recruited by the colleges I liked, and to eventually go to the school that’s the best fit for me,” junior Marcus Dux said.

Last month, Dux committed to Virginia Tech for Division l baseball, where he will continue his career as a pitcher.

“When I went on my visit, I loved the campus, facilities and the coaches and their program,” Dux said.

In addition to visiting schools, players often email and call coaches about their upcoming games so they can be observed by their potential future coach.

“Coaches would sometimes come to watch me play and would send me letters and flyers for their recruiting camp,” junior Meghan O’Brien said.

O’Brien committed to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania for Division l basketball this past summer. O’Brien has been playing basketball since kindergarten, and she has always had her heart set on playing in college, working hard to get there.

“I have played on very competitive teams that pushed me and have spent time on my own lifting and doing workouts,” O’Brien said.

Putting in the effort to get better is essential for striving athletes. They must work hard and as often as they can to prepare themselves for the recruitment process.

“I put in countless hours of lifting, throwing, working on and analyzing my mechanics every day,” Dux said.

Although aspiring college athletes must put in maximum effort, it pays off in the long run when they achieve their lifelong goal of continuing their favorite sport at the college of their dreams.

“Over the years, the hard work and time playing the sport I love has paid off,” O’Brien said. “I’m so grateful for all of the support I’ve had to reach this goal.”