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February 2, 2016
Senior Max Bochman always knew he would play football in college. He began playing when he was 7 years old “to be just like his brothers” but soon made it his mission to continue playing the sport competitively after high school.
This past fall, Bochman’s hard work finally paid off: He committed to play Division III football at Middlebury College, a school he fell in love with the moment he stepped onto its campus.
Bochman is one of 10 committed athletes at the high school thus far, and like the others, he said he is relieved to finally be done with the recruitment process.
“I’ve been working towards this for so long,” Bochman said. “It’s so nice to finally have it for sure.”
Senior Chhany Minton, another committed athlete, is planning on playing Division II baseball at Stonehill College. For him, committing is an affirmation that a lifetime of hard work was worth it.
“A lot of people doubted my talents throughout my baseball career,” Minton said. “It gives me a sense of pride.”
The Recruitment Process
While no two athletes embark on identical recruitment journeys, the process usually begins the same way, with the athlete attending showcases and contacting schools. If a school shows interest, the athlete usually sends playing footage, and if all goes well, attend s an official overnight visit.
Senior Ally Lansbury, who is committed to play soccer at Trinity College next year, said this overnight visit was a deciding factor in her decision.
“I stayed with some of the girls, two of the freshmen,” Lansbury said. “It was kind of like going to college. They showed me the campus, we ate in the dining hall, we stayed in the dorms. It was really fun.”
Bochman said he made most of his connections in summer football camps that are scouted by college coaches. He met the Middlebury coach at a Princeton University camp.
For senior Eliot Rozovsky, the process was a little different. Several schools contacted him before he had the chance to contact them, and eventually, he opted to play Division III tennis for Bowdoin College.
“They were the first school to call me, last January, and I had no idea who they were,” Rozovsky said. “I’d never even heard of Bowdoin, but all of a sudden they called and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s so cool. A college coach is calling me, saying he wants me on the team.’”
Choosing a School
Senior Patrick Webler turned down potential Division I offers in order to play baseball at the school he felt fit him best: Salve Regina University.
“When I found Salve, I immediately fell in love with it,” Webler said. “It was everything that I wanted in a school- right by the water, in Rhode Island, a good academic fit. I can play baseball there, everyone was nice. There wasn’t a single thing I disliked.”
For senior Ronan Schwarz, the decision to commit to Colby College for basketball also came down to the visit.
“I got along really well with the team,” Schwartz said. “And I really liked the coaches and players. I went to a couple of classes and realized it was a good fit academically as well as athletically.”
Lansbury said that during her recruitment, interactions with coaches played a significant role in helping her make decisions.
“I decided a lot based on the coaches, which isn’t necessarily good, because I know the coaches aren’t there forever,” Lansbury said. “But they definitely have a big impact because they are the ones that talk to you the whole time.”
Bochman, on the other hand, chose Middlebury by looking at the big picture.
“It had a great football program and academically, they have an environmental science program, what I plan on majoring in, that is supposed to be one of the best in the country,” Bochman said. “That was another factor.”
Senior Gabby Rizika, who is committed to sail for Cornell University next fall, said she chose what college she would attend based on what team she felt could she could immediately affect.
“Ultimately, I chose Cornell because I wanted a program that was up-and-coming and could break the Top 10 nationally, but wasn’t already in that Top 10,” Rizika said. “Usually in sailing, what happens is that all go to the Ivies, so you’re on these stacked teams but have to wait until your sophomore or junior year to actually sail. I wanted to come in and be able to sail my freshman year, and be a part of a team that makes a difference.”
Schwarz is now beginning his last basketball season for the high school, and although he no longer has to worry about the future of his career, he said he will continue to play with the same motivation as years past.
“I don’t want to take it easy from now on,” Schwarz said. “I’m going to play like I don’t know where I am going to college.”
For Lansbury, committing early has proved especially advantageous, as the all-star soccer player tore her ACL in October and missed the remainder of the season.
“Since I just got surgery, it’s really nice, actually,” Lansbury said. “I can’t play soccer for the rest of the year, but I already know , so I’m happy.”
Minton said that committing alleviates the usual fall-of-senior-year stress.
“It’s like second semester starting in October,” Minton said. “It’s relieving to know what school I’m going to and what I’m going to be doing at that school.”
Noa Dalzell can be contacted at [email protected]