Student-Athletes Further Their Athletic Careers Into College

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Sydney Wolfe

After signing their National Letters of Intent in the fall, officially committing to various colleges, many seniors are set to advance to the collegiate level and continue their athletic careers into the next chapter of their lives.

Sydney Wolfe, Photo Editor

As the end of the school year approaches, seniors are preparing to end a significant chapter in their educational careers. While many are ready to leave high school behind and start a completely new chapter of life, many will continue to do something they have done their entire lives: sports. 

After signing their National Letters of Intent in the fall and officially committing to various colleges, a select group of student-athletes are set to continue their athletic careers into the next chapter of their lives. With a great amount of hard work and dedication, seniors have committed to playing sports at the collegiate level, many of them earning athletic scholarships.

“While competing in college does require strong time-management skills and some thoughtful planning with academic advisors, on average NCAA student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than the general student body,” says the NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Getting a scholarship has relieved my stress since it is essentially a guarantee into college without the stress or worry of regular applications where admittance is unknown and out of my control.”

— Kaia Wolfe

A considerable number of student-athletes commit to play in college, yet many do not receive full-ride scholarships; in fact, scholarships are typically only offered at NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 levels. Only about 2% of the high school student-athletes in the nation are offered some form of athletic scholarship to compete in college, according to NCAA Recruiting Facts

Scholarships provide a great amount of financial relief for students, especially those going into their first year of college. Just like academic scholarships, athletic scholarships help students pay for the general cost of college, usually covering tuition and fees, room and board, textbooks, and even, in some cases, living expenses. 

“Getting a scholarship has relieved my stress since it is essentially a guarantee into college without the stress or worry of regular applications where admittance is unknown and out of my control. Playing a sport is in my control in terms of how far I can get in order to get to the college that I want,” said senior Kaia Wolfe, who committed to UC Davis to play Division 1 tennis. “It is also extremely rewarding because earning a scholarship is something I accomplished and can own for myself that’s special to me.”

Certainly, playing sports at the collegiate level and being rewarded with an athletic scholarship is not an easy thing to achieve. Being a student-athlete calls for an extreme amount of hard work, passion, and dedication to working at being the best athlete one can be while maintaining academic rigor, other extracurriculars, and a social life.

I manage my time by sacrificing some other things in life that I enjoy doing.”

— Tanner Duke

While the stress of the recruiting and commitment process is finally over, student-athletes have to continue training to stay at the competitive level they are at currently and to become even better. Not only that, but they also have to continue meeting high academic standards in order to maintain their scholarships and admission.

“I chose to commit to Baylor because I thought it was a good balance of athletics and academics. As a Power 5 conference school they also provide a top education,” said senior Tanner Duke who committed to Baylor University to play Division 1 baseball. “I manage my time by sacrificing some other things in life that I enjoy doing.”

For many others, a strong connection with the team and the environment of the school are also top priorities when considering a university. Making the right decision and finding the perfect place to spend the next four years is an extremely important step in committing to a college, especially for those choosing to continue their athletic career into college.

“I chose BYU because of how supportive the coach and teammates were to one another. I also liked the location of the school and the distance was not too far, but not too close to home,” said senior Sophia Debergh who committed to Brigham Young University for diving. “I look forward to training with my teammates and getting better at diving. I’m also excited to meet new people and travel.”

“The worries I have the most about going into college is adapting to the more impacted schedule. We will be practicing and traveling a lot more, plus I’ll have to manage college-level classes that will be harder than the AP classes I’m used to right now. As nervous as I am to perform well for my team, I’m more excited to be with and bond with the girls,” said Wolfe.

For all of our Stallion athletes who will go on to compete at the collegiate level, whether it be Division 1 or a club team, we congratulate you and applaud your hard work. Wherever you may go or which school you move on to next, we hope that you will continue to represent our school and RFTB!