The Athletic Recruitment Process Admist Covid

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Setbacks due to Covid have affected seniors’ preparedness for college, especially those involved in the athletic recruitment process.

Seniors have only five months of school left before many continue onto colleges across the country, some playing sports. Some seniors feel that Covid may have held them back from being the most prepared for college and for athletic recruitment opportunities to be disrupted.

The past two years, Covid has affected learning environments, social gatherings, as well as caused athletic recruitment setbacks. Students have experiences prolonged periods of online learning, shutdowns of public gathering spaces, and cancelations of many sports and collegiate events.

These complications have caused many seniors to question if they will be ready for college life, and to worry about the demands of being a college student, and for some, the rigorous schedule of being a student-athlete.

Senior Zac Landon told The Willistonian that Williston has prepared him well for college, even despite Covid regulations.

“I probably would be in a similar spot regardless of Covid because we have been in person for most of the time,” he said.

Zac is a member of the Varsity Lacrosse team and is committed to play at Colby College next year.

In the spring of 2020, Williston went fully remote, which cancelled the entire spring sports season. Athletes like Zac whose main sport takes place in the spring were disappointed in the loss of the season.

“Losing my lacrosse season sophomore year set me back in terms of recruiting because I couldn’t really get in front of any coaches until the spring of my junior year – meaning some coaches had already decided what guys they were taking,” Zac said.

Zac is thankful that he was able to have his junior season because he was able to get the exposure he needed for college.

Senior Aaron Gonzalez Sobrino feels happy his recruitment process went off without too much of a hitch.

“I don’t think that Covid has influenced at all my preparation for college,” Aaron said. “School is basically the same in terms of preparation for college, and sports-wise, I keep working and giving my best to get there at my hundred percent and make an impact on the program regardless of Covid and its setbacks,” he said.

Aaron came here in the 2020-21 school year, so he never got to experience pre-Covid Williston.

Aaron is one of the captains of the Varsity Soccer team and committed to play at Washington and Lee University next year. He didn’t get to have a junior year season which is vital to many collegiate aspiring athletes. However, Aaron was not impacted by these setbacks, and he is committed to his dream school.

“I think I had plenty of opportunities to showcase myself in front of college coaches, and I am happy with the options I ended up with and my final decision,” he said.

Despite Covid’ s setbacks, Aaron is optimistic with his future in college and excited to add to the soccer program.

“With Covid I even feel more motivated to do things better, both academically and in soccer,” he said. “I feel 100% ready and I’m not going to let Covid take that away from me.”

Cristina Negron is a four-year senior at Williston who has experienced Williston before and during Covid.

“Covid has become part of my high school experience and sadly will probably be one of the only things I remember,” she said.

Cristina is committed to play basketball at Utica College next year. She lost her junior year basketball season due to Covid and could only play in a few scrimmages.

Due to the loss of her season, she couldn’t get much exposure for colleges during the most important year for college recruitment. If it had been a normal year, she thinks she would have had more opportunities at other colleges.

“If I had my junior year basketball season, I would probably be going somewhere else,” she said.

Cristina would have chosen another school but because of the extra year of eligibility, many girls stayed, causing college programs to cut back on their number of recruits.

“Schools that were a very viable choice then no longer became an option because of the amount of girls they were recruiting,” she said. “I would have gone to a higher division school.”

Lorenzo Redaelli is a postgraduate who has been at Williston for two years.

“Covid has taught us a lot, and we grew as this pandemic was becoming more serious day by day,” he said. “Therefore, I feel ready for college, or at least I feel more mature getting into college than I was a year ago.”

Lorenzo is one of the captains of the Varsity Soccer team and is working his way through the soccer recruitment process.

“I did not have a competitive season of soccer for a year-and-a-half, and this did not help me emotionally and mentally,” he said.

Lorenzo was impacted heavily by the loss of his senior soccer season, which was a large component to why he came back for his second year as a post grad.

“Not having a season limited my exposure to coaches and affected my recruiting process a lot. Without that season, my entire path to college changed significantly, but it gave me the opportunity to experience another year at Williston, giving me time to adjust to a possible future life here,” he said.

Lorenzo feels ready for college, and said Covid’s effects has given him a new outlook on life.

“I will certainly go into college with another perception of myself and the world around me,” he said. “I’ve learned to not take for granted anything.”