The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Athlete recruitment process

For most students the first semester of senior year is stressful. Submitting college applications on top of regular schoolwork and participating in extracurricular activities create one of the most demanding times for a student. But for student athletes who have been recruited by universities, the application process is entirely different.

Will Conway (’14) has been given the opportunity to extend his soccer career past Canons Park. Conway committed to Division III Pomona College during the beginning of his senior year. However, the lead up to committing was a long one.

Conway committed after several stressful summers of recruitment camps.  “The recruitment camps are pretty intensive. They’re four days long with eight hours of play every day. They are pretty tiring and full of very good athletes,” he said.

Conway attend numerous recruitment camps for three summers before officially committing to Pomona this past October. “By the time the actual college process came about I knew that I would be playing soccer and I knew where I was going. It was pretty stress-free afterwards,” he said.

Conway realizes that his soccer abilities are giving him the opportunity to attend a highly academic university. “Without soccer I would be a pretty boring applicant because that is the main thing I do,” he said.  Conway applied to the California-based university on an “early read,” meaning his soccer coach supports his application to the admissions office. Conway’s recruitment process mirrors that of his former teammate, Nils Elwing (‘13).

Elwing always understood he had the ability to bring his game to the college level. “Each time I’ve risen a level in soccer, I always felt confident I could take myself to a higher level,” he said.

During his senior year, Elwing sustained groin and back injuries which prohibited him from playing soccer for seven months. However, Elwing already knew which university he was attending so these injuries did not affect his Division I chances. “I received the initial offer from GW [George Washington] during the summer before my senior year. I verbally committed during the first couple of weeks of my senior year and I officially committed in February,” he said.

This enabled Elwing to enjoy his senior year knowing he wouldn’t have to frantically submit applications like his peers. “It was a pretty great feeling knowing that I was into a great school before my senior year even started,” he said.

Unlike Conway and Elwing, Emma Nealis (’14) had a recruitment process, which started later than most ASL college-bound athletes. The opportunity to row in college did not materialize for Nealis until midway through her junior year. Nealis officially committed to Harvard University the day before her applications were due, which resulted in a stressful start to senior year. “I mean I guess for me it did get more stressful my senior year, but I wasn’t rowing to get into college, it was more something great if it got me into school,” she said.

The recruitment process offers ASL athletes many advantages when being admitted to universities.  Nealis recognizes that her rowing is allowing her to attend a “fabulous academic school,” while Conway already knows his whole team so he believes “it will be easier to get settled in,” once he arrives in California.

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