Sports June 2010
The road to recruitment
There are approximately 400,000 student-athletes participating in the NCAA. Here’s how to be one of them:
There are two parts to the recruitment process: academic and athletic. Take academics seriously; enroll in Westhill’s core courses—math, English, social studies, and natural or physical sciences. You need these, along with a certain GPA and SAT score, in order to play for a college team. Visit ncaa.com and eligibilitycenter. org for specifics. You should also register yourself on the Eligibility Center website. Next, get recruited. This is where athletics come in. The process can vary depending on the sport, school, and division.
Be sure to stay amateur; it’s one of the most important criteria for playing college sports. If you want to play a Division I or II sport, you must certify that you do not play for any professional team. The NCAA website—ncaa. org—lists the exact definition of a professional team, along with specific scenarios that are and are not acceptable.
Play in showcase tournaments. Most recruiters can be found at these tournaments. Soccer player and junior Kirsten Eriksen said, “A coach might see you at a tournament and be impressed with how you play and then email you. Or, once you see the list of colleges attending a showcase tournament, you can email [certain coaches] and they can come and watch you play for a period of time while they are there if they think it is worth their time.” Stay in contact with the coach. Usually after watching you play, the coach will give feedback and ask for your sports schedule. In certain cases, he or she will invite you on an unofficial visit, in which you may stay overnight on the college campus. You will spend your visit shadowing the kids on the team, and sometimes you will be able to watch the team practice.
Take initiative and don’t be afraid to speak up. It is not the responsibility of your school’s athletic director or team coach to bring you to the recruiters’ attention. If you are interested in a school, you should call or email the coach at the beginning of your junior year. Follow up with a campus tour; if possible, you should arrange to meet with the coach before or after the tour. Keep calm. Don’t get upset if a coach does not respond to your e-mail right away. As junior Jackie Avellar, who is currently being recruited for soccer, said, “Depending on the school and the time of year, many players are attempting the contact the same coach, and it may take more than one e-mail to get through. [Also,] calling a coach is a great way to get him or her to notice you.”
Get ready to commit. If all goes well, the coach will ask if you want to commit and might even offer you an athletic scholarship. Juniors can only offer verbal—not written— commitments, and these can be, but are not often, broken. During your senior year, before deciding to apply to that school, you should make an official visit in which the university pays for all of your traveling, food, and board expenses so you can stay overnight. However, a recruit is only allowed five of these visits, so use yours wisely. In the fall of your senior year, apply to the school to which you committed. According to Eriksen, schools will only ask you to commit if they think that you would be able to get in, so you’re almost guaranteed to gain acceptance as long as you don’t make any major mistakes. Look forward to continuing your athletic career in college! TIPS COMPLIED BY JACKIE SCHECHTER / Managing Editor ILLUSTRATION BY ALANA KASINDORF / Photo Editor
Heading into the tournament World Cup craze spreads among students
ZACH EISEN Photographer
The world has waited long enough; the time has come once again for the FIFA World Cup, the pinnacle of international soccer competition. Every four years, the 32 best men’s soccer teams in the world compete for the supreme title of World Champion. For one month, intense competition and astonishing displays of skill and athleticism will draw the attention of the entire planet. From June 11 to July 11, all
eyes will be focused on South Africa, the first African nation to host the World Cup. Matches will be played at 10 venues in nine cities throughout the country, including the nation’s three capital cities— Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein. As of April 28, FIFA ranks Brazil as the world’s number one team, closely followed by Spain. Italy, the defending world champion, is currently ranked fifth, and the United States holds the 14 spot. Worldwide hype has been building ever since the 2006 tournament, held in Germany, ended
in Italy’s victory over France. Leading up to this summer’s tournament, competing teams battled their way through qualifying rounds held in each regional soc-
“It’s like being able to watch the Super Bowl over and over again,” Mr. Andrews said. cer confederation. During qualifying matches held between 2007 and 2009, the U.S. won hardfought victories against various
teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Americans clinched their position in the World Cup on October 10, 2009 after a 3-2 victory over Honduras. Now, all the teams are set, the stadiums are built, and the world is ready to be thrilled once again. In the Westhill community, World Cup fever has become contagious and is quickly spreading. Mr. Andrews, a guidance counselor and coach of the boys’ Varsity soccer team, is anxiously awaiting the tournament. “It’s like being able to watch the Super
Bowl over and over again,” Mr. Andrews said. Sophomore Giancarlo Castro, member of the boys’ Junior Varsity soccer team, said, “I’m excited to see what will happen because there are so many teams that are capable of winning.” Within the diverse Westhill population, many students have ethnic backgrounds in countries where soccer reigns as the national obsession. From essential early-round contests to thrilling playoff matches, each game that is played generates worldwide excitement.