A look into the college recruiting process

The Haverford community has many outstanding athletes who have committed to colleges recently. Every year, athletes from a wide variety of sports receive offers to play at the next level. In 2020, the 28 college commits covered a wide spectrum of sports, including lacrosse (9), football (7), baseball (3), squash (3), water polo (2), soccer (2), swimming (1), and track (1). 

Last year, athletes faced many post-pandemic challenges due to the limited number of spots on college rosters. Despite these challenges, they persevered and continued to outwork others.  

Fifth Former and Duke Lacrosse commit Ben McCarthy, ranked second in the Class of 2024 by NLF,  believes that the opportunities he has been presented with at Haverford got him to where he is now. 

“In ninth and tenth grade, I practiced and played against high competition, and [Coach Matt] Rosko’s strength program helped transform me physically,” McCarthy said.

All of these athletes demonstrate excellent time management skills by excelling in their sport and their academics. 

“I have balanced my life by taking it one thing at a time. If I have to study, I study. If I have to practice, I practice. I think that finishing one task and then moving on to the next is better than trying to do both at the same time,” Sixth Former and Air Force Lacrosse commit Wells Flinn said. “This prevents me from worrying about other things, and it allows me to stay focused on the task at hand.” 

Discipline is another key factor for success. 

“I’ve learned to balance school and sports pretty well, but my social life has been more difficult to manage. It has been hard to get good sleep and find time to do other things I enjoy,” McCarthy said. “When you work hard it pays off. Sometimes downtime has to be sacrificed.” 

Fifth Former and Michigan Lacrosse commit Jack Long shared what he considers the most challenging part of the recruiting process: keeping your mental health in check. 

“A lot of the time you find yourself comparing yourself to others when it isn’t healthy for you,” Long said. 

Sixth Former and Cornell Football commit Matt Pante shared similar thoughts. 

“The whole process of not knowing where you might end up is stressful, but when you have the support of your family, friends, and coaches, it makes the process easier,” Pante said. 

The journey for all of these athletes has been far from easy. 

“It’s an exhausting experience and road to ride on,” McCarthy said. “I would like to have more time to rest, sleep, watch TV, or even just spend time doing nothing, but I’ve found that being an athlete means sacrificing these things to give myself the best opportunities I can and to become the best version of myself.”

Flinn agrees that being a student-athlete is no easy task.

“It is not a fun process and being patient is key,” Flinn said. “I felt like I was always waiting, and it was hard at times to keep pushing on.”

“The biggest thing for me was getting my work done, so I could practice and train without stress. I also think that making an effort to get eight hours of sleep has made great improvements across the board,” Flinn said.

“I am happy that I have played three sports every year. I think it has been great for me to not just be playing lacrosse. I would get burned out and would lose my joy for the sport.”

Wells Flinn ’23

Pante also shared advice for succeeding through difficult times. 

“It’s about nothing other than always giving 100%,” Pante said. “When aiming to play your sport in college, it takes all the early mornings and late nights to accomplish your goal but it’s worth it.”

Even though he had to sacrifice many aspects of his life to play three sports to the best of his ability, Flinn would not change anything about his experience. 

“I am happy that I have played three sports every year. I think it has been great for me to not just be playing lacrosse. I would get burned out and would lose my joy for the sport,” Flinn said. 

All of these athletes have put in much hard work throughout their years here, and it is paying off for them. 

“The best part of the recruiting process is when it’s over and you finally commit to a school,” Pante said.