The process of being recruited by a college athletic program is what many high school athlete’s dreams are about. Given the opportunity to play a collegiate sport is something special that not many people get the chance to live out. Some athletes and their families slide through the process and love every second of it, while some are nervous and have no idea what they are doing. I spoke to my friend Kelsey about how stressful her recruiting process was.
Kelsey was a phenomenal dual-sport athlete in high school. She received many accolades for her efforts as an outside hitter on the volleyball court and for being a top high jumper on the track and field team. She had a lot of things going for her, and her talents put her on many coach’s radars. However, Kelsey fell in love with one school in particular, and her mind and heart were set on going there.
After a couple of visits and meetings with the volleyball and track coaches at SUNY Brockport, Kelsey was sold. She fell in love with the facilities and the overall look of the school. It felt like home to her. She was ecstatic that she had the opportunity to continue playing two sports at one of the top and most prominent schools in the conference. The school was also close to home, which was huge for her because she was a homebody. This school had everything that she was looking for and more, so she decided to apply early decision. However, there was something that Kelsey and both of the coaches were unaware of.
What happened next for Kelsey seems to be more of a common theme amongst potential college athletes than one would expect. Even though Kelsey committed to the school early and was super excited to attend the school, she ended up getting waitlisted. This was after the coach had assured her that he was working with admissions and that everything would be sorted out and that she would get in. This was all happening at the end of Kelsey’s junior year, so she had her whole senior year to get her grades in check because she wanted nothing other than to attend and compete at this school.
Unfortunately, this was not the case for Kelsey. Throughout her senior year, she thought that she was doing well and was told that she was right on track. However, in May, she received a phone call from the coach; the conversion was not what she was expecting to hear. She was hoping to hear great news and a warm welcome to the school of her academic and athletic dreams. In reality, she was told that she had been denied from the school and that she would have to attend community college for her first year to prove that she could raise her grades and that she was serious about it. She was shaken by this awful news and felt that she was at a standstill.
While this would be awful news to hear for most, it was not for Kelsey. The Brockport coach was friends with the Potsdam coach, and he told him about losing a recruit so suddenly. Ironically, Kelsey went to high school with a current Potsdam player who had heard what had happened to her. Without Kelsey’s knowledge, the player and her dad informed the Potsdam coach about her, and he put the pieces together about Kelsey being the lost Brockport recruit. He received Kelsey’s contact information, and she visited in May during finals week.
Kelsey applied to Potsdam and even got accepted into the Bridges program to help raise her grades. Over the years, Potsdam created her into one of the program’s best middles to ever play at the school. Kelsey ended up playing a successful four years at Potsdam and has made lifelong friends and memories. She is set to graduate in 2018 with a degree in Sociology Human Services and a job after she graduates. Kelsey’s story goes to show that one missed opportunity does not mean that all is completely lost.
Updated: December 3, 2019
* Originally published on May 18, 2018, by Brianna Rodda