As the school-year begins to wind down, underclassmen will prepare for the 2019-2020 school-year, while seniors will prepare for the next stage of their adulthood, whether it be college, the military, or a pursuit of other interests. Despite the varying paths to be taken, many seniors will be attending college in the fall; however, several seniors at Hamburg will not only become a college student, but a college athlete, as well.
Prior to the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, a number of colleges, either local or out-of-state , began contacting athletes via phone call, email or letter. At the same time, students who were interested in participating in a college sport began the recruiting process. This process involves meeting college coaches and ultimately determining whether his or her stats meet the college requirements, which is all based upon the college’s division for a specific sport.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is divided into three divisions. Among all of the divisions, Division I is the most competitive, thus it is extremely selective. Many students who are involved in a Division I sport receive scholarships, which are oftentimes full-rides. Division II, in contrast to Division I, is less competitive. Students typically receive financial aid, but no full-ride scholarships. As predicted, Division III is the least competitive and students do not receive financial aid in regards to athletics. Nevertheless, all athletes have to meet certain standards in order to have the privilege of representing a college through the athletic program.
Even if a student cannot meet the requirements of their school’s division, club sports are often available to those who still wish to compete in college. The clubs are run by students, who compete against club teams from other colleges. These clubs are a great opportunity to still be involved in a sport that a student is passionate about. Adding to the allure of club sports, students are not pressured by the extreme discipline and strict schedules of most college sports.
Halle Gerner, a student at Hamburg, will be attending Lebanon Valley College in the fall. In addition to pursuing a college education, she will be playing softball. “I chose to play softball because I couldn’t imagine playing my last softball game in high school. Softball makes me feel like I’m doing something right and doing something I love.”
Of course, Gerner will have to transition from high school sports to college sports, but rather than feeling intimidated, Gerner is excited to challenge herself, noting that playing with girls who possess a higher skill level “will make it fun.”
Aside from the competition, Gerner is eager to grow close to her teammates. “I will meet many new girls that I will call my teammates and eventually grow very close to, making college ball something I’ll always remember.”
Throughout Gerner’s four years of high school, she lived by one of her favorite quotes, a quote that all athletes should promote. “You have to hate losing more than you love winning” – Unknown.
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