Story by Emily White
The recruitment process for many high school athletes can be one of vigour and hardship, however, some feel the end result is well worth the hard works and waiting.
Senior Kailin Cordes was one of these lucky players who was able to land a spot as a collegiate athlete. Cordes, who has committed to Baker University to play volleyball, feels more relaxed about the college planning now that she has committed.
“I feel more at ease now that I have committed to a team and I definitely am not as stressed out about finding a school that would fit me best,” said Cordes.
Junior Elle Sandbothe, who committed to Kansas State University to play volleyball, also feels more relaxed about her future plans now that she has made the commitment to a university.
“It’s like a giant weight was off my shoulders. The recruiting process is one of the most stressful things I have ever done. It’s very bittersweet. It was a huge relief picking a school because I kind of have a huge part of my future figured out. A lot of my senior friends are stressing about getting in or what schools to apply to and I won’t have to do any of that and I am very blessed for that,” said Sandbothe.
Though these players have their commitments made, they promise their level of play is not being affected.
“It definitely pushes you to work harder and play your best so you can impress them. Although I am committed, I’m very competitive and I hate to lose, so I don’t think it will change how I play at all,” said Sandbothe
Cordes feels the same way. “Being committed does not affect the way I play because I still strive to be a better player even though the ultimate goal has been reached. I plan to be very successful at the collegiate level and I am heavily committed to enhancing and bettering myself as a volleyball player and teammate,” said Cordes.
Senior Austin Eveler, who has committed to the University of Missouri for wrestling, also feel unaffected in being a committed athlete.
“I felt relief once I committed and it kind of made me relax more, but it doesn’t really affect my performance. It’s the same feeling every time I go out on the mat,” said Eveler.
Each of these athletes, however, could have never pictured themselves where they are today.
“As a freshman, I would’ve never pictured myself playing for an NAIA [National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes] school. My dream had always been to play at a very high level at a larger college. As high school drew along, my priorities obviously changed. I had always viewed school as very important, but I steadily became even more focused on school than volleyball. I am ecstatic about my commitment to Baker because it is small, close to home, and offers a stellar education. Baker’s main priority for their students is academics, and that’s what I really like about it,” said Cordes.
Eveler has a similar perspective. “If I were to go back to freshman year I would not have seen myself going to Mizzou. When I was a freshman I thought for sure I was going out of state for college,” said Eveler.
Sandbothe, like Eveler and Cordes, did not picture herself where she is today, but for a different reason.
“My freshman year was my second year ever playing volleyball so the fact that someone saw potential in me was amazing. I’m very short for a middle hitter and it was the only position I’ve ever played so I knew I needed to get better at outside swings and right side swings and possibly defense in order to have a shot. The fact that college coaches loved me in the middle despite my height was crazy to me,” said Sandbothe.
Despite the many challenges high school athletes have to overcome in the face of recruitment, one thing is for sure: the benefits far outweigh the hard times.