Harrisite athletes talk the college recruitment experience


Seniors discuss the college sports recruitment process.

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With the strenuous college application season mostly in the rearview mirror, many Harrisites are awaiting college decisions in anticipation of their journey after high school. In particular, several athletes who have dedicated themselves to school teams and teams outside of school have been rewarded with select seats at competitive colleges and universities.

Harrisite athletes undergoing recruitment talked about the difficulty and dedication required to balance sports and academics.

Senior Justin Chong has played tennis for about ten years both in academies and public courts. He said, “The first thing you have to be open to is being rejected. Coaches aren’t able to accept every athlete. Even after a college representative becomes interested, a lot of communication is required back and forth about your tournament schedule and results so that they are able to be confident in giving you a spot on the team.”

Junior Mia Esquivel, a girls soccer player for six years, said that the recruitment process includes “going to college showcases, ID clinics, and essentially being on a team known for getting its players recruited.”

Senior Alex Hattel who plays on the Boys Varsity Basketball Team said, “I’m looking to play at the Division 3 level or even juco. I’ve been working hard since I was five years old to make this dream come true and while I have gotten back from various coaches, the process is not done. I still have to study, maintain my grades and continue the recruitment process because you never know when a scholarship opportunity might turn up.”

Similar to Justin, Alex said, “don’t be afraid to hear “no”. It happens to everyone in this game. You can’t please every coach out there, and so the right mentality would be to keep working and keep looking.”

These athletes’ fondness for sports, which they have participated in for nearly their whole lives, have naturally pushed them to take the initiative to pursue their respective sports past their high school careers. “I’ve always wanted to play tennis professionally,” Justin said.

Senior Jeremy Diaz, who plays on the Boys Varsity Baseball team said, “Baseball has always been a big part of my life, and I feel like my college experience would be incomplete without it. I started with t-ball at around four years old. So [I’ve had] around thirteen years with the sport, but even before I could play, my parents dressed me and my brother up in Mets jerseys and we’d go to games.”

Both Alex and Jeremy discussed the difficulty of getting noticed. “I learned that to get a coach’s attention, you have to say the things that make you stand out, and you should also do research about their team and the players,” Alex said. “This way you could express how you believe you would be a good fit, not only on the court but off the court.

For Jeremy, the work he put into the recruiting process paid off, as he is committed to play baseball at Hamilton College. Jeremy said that during his recruiting process, “I reached out to a few schools and signed up for showcases they would also be attending. It really came down to how well I played in those showcases. I kept doing my best on the field and kept my hopes up [and] I ended up getting a few offers and it was a sigh of relief for me and my parents.”