Five WHS Athletes Recruited to College Sports

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Jessica Small, Sports Editor

On November 10, Peter Rivera, Katelyn Rawls, Olivia DiCarlantonio, Gabriella Sehres, and Abby Jo Winsor signed their recruitment letters to play for college sports teams.

“My parents always told me that I needed to go to a good college to be successful. But as I grew up I developed into a pretty good ball player. Around middle school my coach Lou Mascia told me that I could be good enough to play big college baseball. Then the plan changed from just getting into college, into getting into college on a baseball scholarship,” Peter Rivera said.

Rivera signed to play baseball for Miami. He received offers from other, smaller schools, but Miami was his top choice.

“The way I chose Miami was just by fate I guess. I was always a Hurricane fan, but I never got a look from them until my last tournament in this past summer. I performed very well, and they were just there to see me,” Rivera said.

For athletes like Olivia DiCarlantonio, who plays lacrosse, getting recruited was a process spanning over her entire three years of high school. DiCarlantonio started playing in middle school. She began contacting schools her freshman year to watch her play, since athletes cannot be contacted by schools until their junior years.

“[My club team] would travel every weekend basically and be up in Philadelphia or Baltimore trying to get recruited… On September 1of my junior year [OhioState] hand wrote me a letter, so I started looking into it more. I’m from Ohio, and it ended up [having what] I really wanted in a school – [division one], it was a football school, and it’s a huge school,” DiCarlantonio said.

Other athletes, like Katelyn Rawls, have an entirely different recruitment experience.

“It takes a whole lot to get recruited. For volleyball, most coaches like skill videos and game footage in case they didn’t see you play for long. Some coaches only get to see you warm up since there are thousands of teams playing at one time,” Rawls said. “People think you get recognized and that’s it… Yeah you get recognized but so does six or seven other girls playing for the same spot as you. So you have to make sure you send out video right when they ask you and keep on top of them about visits… The best part of being recruited is knowing that your hard work paid off.”

In addition to working hard on the field or in the court, student athletes must work hard academically. DiCarlantonio was well aware of this fact when she committed to lacrosse at Ohio State University.

“Everybody’s always like, ‘Are you nervous [that] you’re going to slip up?’ But I have to meet with an academic counselor every other week just to make sure everything’s on track. I have to do eight study hours a week in a building, so I’ll obviously get more done.” Dicarlantonio said.  “I’ll have free tutors in absolutely everything I want. There’s a building for athletes to study in. So they really try to help the athletes out as much as possible.”

To less serious sports players, an athletic scholarship might seem like an obligation. But athletes like DiCarlantonio see it as a chance to do what they love.

“It’s going to be a tremendous [commitment] but this is all I want to do. I know I want to coach when I’m older,” DiCarlantonio said. “I’d rather be out at a practice than out partying. I’ve always liked sports a lot. I’m with my friends already. It’s not like I’m missing out on anything.”

Signing to commit to a college sports team also simplifies the college application process. As many seniors prepare for the next phase in their academic lives after high school, these students are committing to the next phase in their athletic careers.

“I’ve been verbally committed since January 22 of last year, so this year I only applied to Ohio State,” DiCarlantonio said. “I’ve known who my roommate is since last year; I have to room with someone on my team. I go in with 25 friends already.”

The recruitment process is a long one, but well worth it for interested, talented athletes.