Rookie to Recruited: The High School Athlete Struggle

Sophomore Shannon Siebold takes the ball down the field past Brookfield's Savannah Ryan.

Sophomore Shannon Siebold takes the ball down the field past Brookfield’s Savannah Ryan.

Katelynn Romanchick ’17
EE Staff Writer

It’s a dream for the majority of high school athletes to be able to extend their sports careers into college. After high school, everything is expanded. The competition, the intensity, the love for your sport; all these aspects are built upon, and that’s why it’s so appealing to the most determined and talented at school.

In high school, the key word is recruitment. Colleges look for athletes performing well on the field and in the classroom, choosing a select few for their programs. For some sports, recruiting is clear cut. Sports like cross country and swimming and diving provide clear times and amounts for colleges to look at. However in many sports, the process is more complicated, and much more work.

Sophomore Shannon Siebold recently committed to Rutgers University to play Division One lacrosse. Unlike some sports, lacrosse recruits girls early in their high school careers, even as early as eighth grade going into ninth.

Siebold started getting recognition from colleges the summer before her freshman year. Siebold was asked how she felt about the early recruitment process. “I’m for it.” she said, “I spent so much time over the summer looking at colleges at such a young age, that it became something I just loved to do. I was lucky enough to have my parents bring me anywhere whenever we found a place that had interest in me. It made a huge impact on me positively and I’m so glad I was lucky enough to find my dream school so early.”

This put her in a position most seniors find themselves in; where do I want to commit myself for four years after high school? Being an amazing athlete was not enough to get automatic recruitment, and the work she had to put in was astonishing.
“It was a lot of work. I spent almost the entire summer last year chasing coaches across the country to Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and a ton of other places. Any tournament that a coach was going to, I was there. Also, the camps were exhausting. Three or four days of constant running at Maryland or Duke with coaches breathing down your back isn’t easy. But despite the work I would definitely do it all over again. I met some incredible people and learned so many lessons,” she said.

All that hard work paid off with her commitment to Rutgers. Ahead of the game and going into her junior year, Siebold can take a break from college stress that for others will be just beginning.

The driving force behind all of Siebold’s success is her love for the game. She said, “I love the speed of the game, it’s so quick.” she explained, “You can come back from a huge difference in points, and it isn’t unheard of. At the same time you have to hold on to your goals on defense, it’s such a cool sport.”

With all of her effort and experience, Siebold gave some advice to any younger players hoping to be recruited. She said, “Just get out there. Go to as many tournaments and camps as you can, the more exposure the better. It’s going to be tiring and very stressful at times but in the end it’s all worth it.”

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