Athletes Battle COVID-19 In Pursuit of College Recruitment

Vivian Jung, Staff Writer

Each year, student-athletes show off their skills competing with other students and fight for the spots on college sports teams. However, this year, a sudden pandemic has left the world of high school athletes and colleges in a conflicting situation now that the usual recruiting process has changed. Communicating with coaches about spots on the team is known to be a stressful process, but it is even harder this year. 

Nonetheless, colleges have reached out to a few athletes at Woodson during COVID-19 and used this opportunity to recruit the talented players. Senior Corinne Cullina, has made the decision to play soccer for Bridgewater University this past August. She knew what kind of player she was and talked to a good amount of schools before making her final decision.

Corinne makes a play on the ball for her team. (Photo courtesy of Corinne Cullina.)

“The overall recruiting process was hard, especially [due to] playing a team sport,” Cullina said, “but I was able to narrow it down to two colleges which was great.”

She wanted to be done with the whole process in March, but unfortunately this was not possible due to COVID-19. Cullina remained focused during the pandemic and continued to do what was right for her. 

“Making the final decision to play at Bridgewater felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my chest,” Cullina said, “and I would not change that choice for anything in the world.”

Corinne is all smiles as she flaunts her Bridgewater College bucket hat.

Minh Donnell, another senior student-athlete at Woodson, will be making her decision to commit to college for swim and dive this fall. She reached out to coaches later in the season and, rather than having specific goals, she “just hoped to have schools interested in her.” Donnell said that her overall recruitment process was mostly done through email, text and calls. Due to COVID-19, [coaches] had to limit the number of people taken, which has made the process even more competitive.

“As of right now, my top choice of college is West Point because of the amazing coach and program they offer,” Donnell said. 

Minh performs a dive. (Photo courtesy of Minh Donnell.)

 

She found the overall process hard to an extent, as she needed to stay on top of communication and maintain strong relationships with coaches. Some recruiters did not respond back after she replied to their emails and calls, but she knew this was all part of the process. 

“I will most likely be diving D-1 in college,” Donnell said, “and I am ecstatic that all of my hard work has been able to result in a positive outcome.”