The next level: Seniors on college sports recruitment


Credit: Courtesy of Nate L'Esperance

Senior Nate L’Esperance plays baseball on the boys’ varsity team. Grinnell College in Iowa recruited L’Esperance to play Division III baseball next year. “There [are] a lot of influences that are [telling me] I can do this if I work hard, and that has inspired me,” L’Esperance said.

Ellie Tyska and Meredith Prince

While many seniors are scrambling to fit in college tours, interviews and applications, a few have had a chance to catch their breath. Several students have been recruited to colleges to pursue sports at a higher level. Seniors Kate Maietta, Nate L’Esperance, Jake Tyska and Abby Mitty have dreamt of continuing competitive sports in college, and they are planning on carrying on what they have learned from Wayland sports programs into their next adventure.

Maietta will be rowing Division I at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“I’ve been rowing since freshman year, and I sort of always knew that I wanted to keep doing it past high school,” Maietta said. “My sister got recruited, and I just thought that was a really good way to keep doing it at a competitive level.”

Like Maietta, many athletes desire to continue their sport in college because of the high-level competition. L’Esperance, who will be playing baseball in Division III for Grinnell College in Iowa, is excited to compete in a different region of the country.

“[I’m looking forward to] the high competition level,” L’Esperance said. “In New England, there is a decent level of competition when it comes to tournament baseball and summer baseball, but I am excited to see really high-level baseball and play it as well.”

The recruitment process differs between athletes; for some, it is slow and difficult, while it is quick and easy for others. Some athletes suffer injuries during the recruiting process, which can be extremely challenging to deal with. Mitty, who will be playing Division III soccer for Union College, has suffered many injuries throughout her high school career, including a torn labrum in her shoulder and a broken arm.

“These injuries just kept on coming and I wasn’t sure that I could play anymore,” Mitty said. “So, up until this summer before going into senior year, I thought that I probably wasn’t going to play, but I wanted to go to the Union camp one more time just to show my face. I went and I played really well and that’s when the coach decided to offer me [a spot on the team]. I felt like I was really lucky because I was almost about to give up playing in college.”

Despite the difficulty behind the recruitment process, many athletes still go through with it. According to Tyska, who has been recruited to play Division II lacrosse at Bentley University, the Wayland sports program helps prepare athletes to be recruited in various different ways. Tyska attributes his success to a few of his high school coaches such as lacrosse coach Marcus Craigwell and soccer coach David Gavron.

“The Wayland sports program has helped me prepare for the college path very well,” Tyska said, “My coaches have been amazing, they’ve helped me throughout all of my four years of high school physically, mentally and academically. I mean, academics come first and that’s what’s more important. However, they have prepared me physically by pushing me harder [so that I can] do my best.”

Alongside coaches that push athletes to work their hardest, the Wayland sports program allows athletes to compete at a high level that will prepare them for the next step into college competition.

“The Wayland-Weston crew team went to nationals, [and] we rowed at a lot of national and international level competitions,” Maietta said. “I feel really ready to compete at the high level that is a Division I Ivy League sport.”

As these students are about to take their first steps in the college sports path, they are each looking forward to the environment of a collegiate team. Mitty is particularly excited about the new teammates she will meet.

“I think that part of the reason why I really wanted to play in college was to be a part of a sports team,” Mitty said. “Being a part of a team is my favorite thing, so I’m definitely looking forward to that the most.”