Credit: Kate Balicki
Class of 2017’s collegiate athletes
Next fall, seven female and seven male athletes from WHS will be part of a collegiate team at their respective schools. Wayland graduates will be playing a variety of sports next year. The recruits have been playing for varying amounts of time; however, the one thing they all have in common is a passion for their sport.
Most of the recruitment takes place apart from the school. College coaches come out from all over the country to see the student athletes perform. According to Athletic Director Heath Rollins, the process of recruiting has changed drastically over the past couple decades.
“15 years ago the college coaches would call and we would share information about the students’ performance. Now, if we talk to a college coach, it’s because they want to know if the [student’s] parents are a pain in the butt,” Rollins said.
Athletes from ten different WHS sports teams will be playing in college. This variety of sports displays the diversity and variation of Wayland’s athletic talent. However, one of the most successful programs in producing college athletes from WHS is lacrosse.
“High school lacrosse is big in the northeast, so we see a lot of athletes recruited out of this area,” Rollins said.
This group of 14 students includes athletes from a multitude of sports such as football, soccer, crew, golf, tennis, baseball, wrestling, and cross country. These athletes are attending a variety of schools ranging from Division 1 to Division 3 colleges.
Division 1 schools are typically the largest schools and participate in a minimum of 14 sports for both genders. Division 3 schools include the smallest of the NCAA schools and may offer a smaller variety of college athletics.
The future college athletes are most excited to be able to take their sport to the next level and to be surrounded by new people who are as dedicated and who have as deep of a passion for the sport as they do. Many also believe being a part of a team will enrich their college experiences.
“College athletics is almost a job. If you don’t love the sport, you will not make it,” Rollins said.