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To Commit or Quit

Student-athletes consider commiting to colleges through sports

Chelsea Park, Reporter

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Near the end of their high school career, most seniors face the difficult decision of deciding which college to attend for the next four years of their lives. However, there are a select few who make this decision earlier than the rest. These students are athletes who commit to play in college.

When a student is “committed” to a college, they have accepted an offer to participate in college sports. But this process is usually split up into two parts: verbal commitment and the National Letter of Intent. Verbal commitment is a non-official agreement shared between a student-athlete and the coach of a college sports team. As this agreement does not bind the student to the college, the offer is not secure, and miscommunication is possible.

On the other hand, when a student signs the National Letter of Intent, a conclusive agreement is made between the school and the student. An NLI will ensure the student financial aid, and a spot on the roster to play for the college.

At BV West there are plenty of talented student-athletes. Among these individuals are several who commit to play a sport in college, or consider this decision. While college commitment may be an ultimate goal for some athletes, others turn down offers. Each athlete holds a different perspective on college commitment, shaped by their experiences and future aspirations.

Lydia Berutti

Senior Molly Saporito is one of those athletes who has made the early decision to commit to a college the following year.

“I committed to play college golf at the University of Central Missouri right before this school golf season started,” Saporito said.

The process for Saporito to commit was complicated and lengthy.

“Well, I started by recruiting myself as a sophomore. Then I emailed coaches, sent them swing videos for golf, and uploaded my stats on websites,” Saporito said.

“More and more, I got myself known to coaches, and eventually that turned into college visits. At the college visit, I sat down with the coach and accepted his offer“.

Saporito is excited for the new experiences and opportunities that have been offered to her through golf, and she’s ready for a new chapter of her athletic career.

Katherine Lucas

Upperclassmen are more likely to be committed to a college, however, several underclassmen are familiar with this concept as well. Ramsey Witterstaetter is a sophomore at BV West with several coaches already reaching out to her with interest in recruiting her to play volleyball for them.

“I learned that colleges were interested in me playing for them when they contacted my coaches and asked about me wanting to visit their college” Witterstaetter said

Although Witterstaetter has not committed to a college yet, she is keeping in touch with coaches from a couple of schools.

“I haven’t committed to a college yet because I am too young to fully commit and accept the offer, [however], I probably will in a few years,” Witterstaetter said.

Zoey Greenberg

All athletes view their future with their sport differently. While some plan to continue on in college, and even pursue professional levels, others consider ending their athletic streak in high school for various reasons. Senior soccer player Noah Mabry is one of those athletes who are unsure of their athletic careers in the future.

“I’m still deciding if I want to play or not because I’m not sure where I’m going to go in the end,” Mabry said.

Several schools have reached out to Mabry, however, he is still keeping his options open.

“Four or five different schools have approached me after the club or school games,” Mabry said. “[But] I don’t want to go anywhere smaller than any school I could go to. I want to get the full college experience. Go somewhere with a bigger school, with more people.”

Mabry has found much success playing soccer in high school for both his club and school teams. Recently, he beat the BV West boys soccer record for the most goals scored, surpassing records previously set by professional players such as Matt Besler and Nick Besler.

“[This achievement] makes me want to play more. It makes me want to keep playing,” Mabry said. “I think I’d regret not playing in college.”

Katherine Krishna is a junior soccer player at BV West who is also still deciding on whether she will play in college or not.

“Several colleges have been interested, but I haven’t followed up with them because I didn’t feel like these universities were academically matched to me,” Krishna said. “Although I really enjoy soccer, I also want to focus on my academics.”

To officially bind to a school, each athlete has to follow up with the coaches and show interest in committing.

“The only coach I really followed up with was from St. Louis University, although I ended up not committing,” Krishna said. “If I was more athletically driven, I probably would have accepted this offer.”

Krishna is not rejecting all offers, however, and she sees herself committing to a college when she finds one that is right for her.

Several student-athletes at BV West face the decision of choosing whether or not to play for a college. Although college commitment seems like an agreement that’s impossible to turn down, all athletes view their futures differently. While college sports are included in the future plans of some, others reject offers for various reasons.

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