Student athletes sprint their way toward college sports

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Student athletes sprint their way toward college sports

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It is a tied game in the bottom of the seventh inning as Matt McGee steps up to the plate during his sophomore year. With two outs and a runner on second, McGee was “just looking for something to drive.”

McGee hit a line drive over the left fielder’s head for a walk off double to beat Spalding during JC’s senior game two years ago.

Now a senior, McGee is committed to play Division II baseball at Philadelphia University. He will be attending Philadelphia University after completing his senior year.

McGee’s recruiting process consisted of communication on his part. Due to NCAA rules, colleges weren’t allowed to contact McGee as a sophomore, when his recruiting process began. McGee attended camps and tournaments to expose himself to college coaches.

While he was at Philadelphia University, and playing ball with the guys on the team, he was able to handle and compete against players at that higher level. McGee decided that “it was a good fit for [him] and [he] liked the atmosphere within the team a lot.”

However, for junior Alice Cumpston this process was different. As a junior, Cumpston committed to play lacrosse at Vermont University. Cumpston will play as a junior and a senior for the varsity women’s lacrosse team.

Committing to play college lacrosse early will make for “a lot less stressful and more fun [junior and senior] year,” Cumpston said.

With the help of her father, Cumpston has already made her decision for her next level of lacrosse. She fell in love with Vermont when she visited.

“It was pretty and the people there were really nice. It felt like I was in a different country,” Cumpston said.

Student athletes are committed to play college sports for men’s and women’s basketball, football, and women’s lacrosse. These athletes will be attending colleges all across the nation, from the Naval Academy to Oregon University to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

For junior Mary Kate Gerety, also a women’s lacrosse commit, the recruiting process has been long and stressful. Hofstra University in New York, where Gerety will attend four years of college after high school, was the last college she visited.

“I enjoyed how the school had a strong center of attention on the lacrosse teams, compared to most schools where most facilities, like the weight rooms, are centered toward football,” Gerety said.

Gerety still has her junior and senior high school seasons ahead of her. Committing will make for “a lot easier” season for Gerety moving forward.

However, according to athletic trainer Karen Eder, “sometimes if an athlete commits early they don’t take their sport as seriously.”

Senior basketball player Kimbal Mackenzie describes the recruiting process as being a little stressful, but also enjoyable.

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Senior Morgan Santiago visits the University of Oregon. She said that she has fallen in love with the school and is excited to spend the next four years of her life there.

“It’s nice that people and schools appreciate you and as an individual, you feel appreciated,” Mackenzie said.

Mackenzie is committed to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania to play basketball. Bucknell has a very “homey” feel to it and the environment was challenging, according to Mackenzie.

Senior Morgan Santiago is committed to play women’s lacrosse. She was very hands-on during her recruiting process. Santiago explored her options through a website called National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA). There, she made a profile where college coaches could watch her game film, see what position she played, and where she went to school.

Santiago emailed over 100 college coaches and attended three camps at Duke, Stetson, and Oregon, where she would eventually commit. For Santiago, going to college across the nation creates a lot of change. She is prepared for five hour flights and the time-zone difference between Oregon and Maryland.

All committed athletes, juniors or seniors, male or female, will attend a four-year college to continue their playing abilities and further their practices of being true student athletes.

Alex Rasmussen is a News Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.