photo Colin Murphy
photo Jacob Oberle

High school sports are usually something that kids see as an extracurricular, but students Kaitlyn McNeel, Collin Murphy, and Jacob Oberle, have used these sports to gain the attention of colleges.

McNeel is a sophomore who has gotten attention from numerous schools for playing volleyball at Godwin.

As an outside hitter, she has received letters in the mail, and scouts and coaches have come to watch her play.

McNeel has compiled online highlight reels, which have impressed coaches enough to come out to the games and watch her play.

She garnered the attention of Virginia Tech and went to visit the facilities.

McNeel has not chosen a school, but she is more motivated to go to a school that values her as an individual, rather than making her seem like just another athlete that they are recruiting.

She has even been out to some college volleyball games to watch the style of play and how they are coached, as well as the culture of the team.

“Stay organized and always keep in contact with the coaches. It shows them that you are really interested and would work hard to get the opportunity,” said McNeel in regards to advice to student-athletes trying to be recruited.

Murphy is a senior that is being recruited for soccer. Seven schools have contacted him with interest in him, even though he is not playing at Godwin.

He plays Richmond United, and they have a rule against their players playing for the school.

Richmond United has a reputation for dishing out NCAA athletes, so Murphy gets plenty of attention even without school play.

Murphy has used this advantage to be recruited by numerous division one schools.

“I am leaning toward Elon right now, but I am also considering USC and Johns Hopkins,” said Murphy about his interest in the schools that are interested in him.

Elon is his favorite because their coach showed the most interest in him and was the most friendly towards him.

He also attended their training session and the level of play was high enough that it set them apart from the other schools. Along with their soccer program, Elon also has the major he is interested in Biomedical Engineering.

Murphy gained interest from some schools through scouts and coaches at a showcase.

The schools first contacted him after the USSDA Summer Showcase. He also sent them highlights and sent out recruiting questionnaires.

If Murphy decides to play soccer at Elon, he will do two training sessions or one lifting session, and one training session per day in preparation for the season.

Once the season starts, he will play one or two games per week with training sessions after class, and a couple lifting sessions mixed in.

“The coaches have a lot of experience that can help me improve. There are a lot of local professional and semi-professional teams that I can play on and build connections over the summer,” said Murphy.

Murphy has advice for students trying to gain interest from a school.

“If you are really interested in a school, and the coach is not responding to you, don’t be afraid to continue contacting them and be persistent. Keep sending more and more game film and highlights,” said Murphy.

NOVA of Virginia Aquatics (NOVA) is a swimming club that has produced many swimmers that have committed and gone to schools to swim.

Senior Jacob Oberle swims for Godwin and at NOVA, and he has committed to Penn State on a partial scholarship.

Penn State is covering a portion of his costs for attending the school, but not the costs in entirety.

Oberle was also recruited by Tennessee, Auburn, and Texas A&M.

These schools contacted him through emails and invited him to their campus for a tour of the school and their facilities.

Oberle’s swimming times in short and mid-distance events impressed them, so they emailed him.

The recruiters then proceeded to come to his swim meets and his practices.

Penn State invited Oberle to a football game against Pittsburgh, and he got to watch from the sideline.

“Being able to be on the field with the players made me feel valued as a swimmer,” said Oberle.

Oberle chose Penn State because they have the coaches that he feels will improve his skills the most, accompanied with the highest quality facilities he visited.

Penn State also provided the best opportunity financially for him.

“I am happy to be going to Penn State, and for all of the athletes seeking a scholarship, keep contacting schools and coaches so you gain attention,” said Oberle.

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©2019 Eagles' Eyrie - the school newspaper for Mills E. Godwin High School in Henrico, VA

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