Athletes recruited for college level sports

Charlotte+Martinkus+diving+

Peter Linnard

Charlotte Martinkus diving

Mandy Maselli, Staff Writer

 At Weston High School, many athletes spend their athletic careers preparing for the competitive college recruitment process they will engage in during their junior and senior years. While those seeking to compete at the college level share some similar experiences, the recruitment process overall is very different depending on the person and their sport. 

   The journey to becoming a recruited athlete begins at different stages in each athlete’s life.

   “I have been swimming for a very long time. I started competitively swimming when I was seven, so it has been ten years. [Now] I swim full time and I swim on a club team too,” said Théo Bodet, a senior swimmer recruited to UC Santa Barbara. 

   Others discovered their athletic passion later that Bodet, but that did not prevent them from being recruited. 

   “I started diving in the eighth grade, but I became serious about it the summer going into freshman year,” said Charlotte Martinkus, a senior recruited to dive for Princeton.

    While Weston has many great sports programs, several athletes get recruited through club teams. 

   “Weston, by and large, does a really good job of preparing students for the next level,” said Michael McGrath, WHS athletic director. “But many times student-athletes get seen or noticed by college recruiters at their club teams or showcases.”

   However, the coaches at WHS can be helpful in the process because they can connect athletes to recruiting coaches and vouch for the athlete. 

   “Mr. McLaughlin talked to the recruiting coaches for me,” said Bodet.

   Most student-athletes begin the recruiting process during their junior year, but some get started even earlier. 

   “I sent emails to all the colleges I was interested in before they were even allowed to respond to me in the middle of sophomore year,” said Martinkus.

   While connecting with coaches and athletic programs at their preferred colleges and universities is a key element of the recruitment process, in reality recruiters are not only interested in candidates’ athletic abilities. Maintaining good grades and participating in extracurricular activities are essential to being recruited.

   “Grades are important in the process because having accomplishments outside the student’s sport is important to recruiting coaches,” Michael McGrath, WHS athletic director said.  “Student-athletes should try to be as well rounded as possible, so they should make sure to keep their grades up.”

    Student-athletes who have pursued recruitment this year have found McGrath’s words to be true.

   “Your grades are pretty important because you have to submit your grades for a pre-read, which is when the college will look at your GPA and SAT/ACT scores,” said Julie Hohenberg, a senior recruited to run for Boston College.  

    Athletes seeking recruitment typically need to focus on one or at most two sports to best present themselves for recruitment.

   “I did different sports up until my junior year, which was the last year not doing running the whole time. Freshman year I did softball, basketball, and soccer,” said Hohenberg.

    Once at college, many student-athletes hope that being on a sports team can provide a sense of community and can make the transition to college easier. 

   “I think that playing a sport will help me build a bond with my teammates/classmates that will last during college and beyond,” said Hohenberg.