Recruitment Favoritism or Recruitment Blindness?

By Electa Willander
NEWS Reporter

Mercersburg Academy has had numerous athletes pass through its doors in the past few years. Some have continued to play at the collegiate level and even a few have made it to the Olympics. In previous years, there have been a large amounts of Mercersburg athletes that have committed to play competitively in college. However, there seems to be a lack in sport diversity in the recruiting process.

The most popular sports like basketball, lacrosse, and soccer commonly have had more recruits, however other high capacity teams such as swimming, cross country, or baseball seem to fall short in this long tedious process.
Is it possible that some sports are just more prone to athletes being recruited or is Mercersburg more concentrated to the sports that have had success in recruitment in the past?
Four-year varsity swimmer, Caitlin Dawson ‘18 suggests that “coaches are mainly focused on getting their athletes into college, and to see playing their sport as an added bonus instead of focusing on getting their athletes recruited. Not that it’s a bad thing.”
Many students like Dawson have been in contact with coaches at various universities, and have discussed what it’s going to take to be admitted as a collegiate athlete.
Specifically, at Mercersburg, recruiters attend sporting events to personally see what Mercersburg has to offer. Yet, many coaches don’t make it to field hockey, baseball, or cross country meets.
Lauren Jones ’18, who plays on the Varsity field hockey team explains that, “the numbers alone show the discrepancies between boys’ and girls’ sports. This year in the senior class, there are many male post grads and only one female.”
The entire process of recruitment and applying to college in general is all about perspective and hard work. Some students may love the sport they play, but decided against playing in college simply based on their curriculum or they may just need a break. While others, can’t imagine themselves without having a part of their day filled with the sport that they love.
In some instances, I believe that some sports aren’t as popular for recruits because there just isn’t enough athletes interested. Jayvien Sandridge ’18, a VCU baseball commit thinks that “whichever sport is bringing in more money is the sport that they will more heavily recruit.”
This may or may not be the reason that some sports at Mercersburg have had more attention from universities, however it is definitely a possible factor.
It would be great to see in the near future a more equal playing field in the recruitment process for the next upcoming athletes. Mercersburg needs to reach out to rising athletes with great potential and interest in order to help them understand more clearly what is need of them to get the attention of recruiters.
Also, as a school we should remember that it is just as important to have talented athletes in the growing and transitioning teams as it is in the highly successful teams. Instead of showing favoritism, we should support all Mercersburg athletes.

Posted in: Opinion

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