Facing Adversity in the Recruiting Process

Girl athletes plan to play at the next level collegiately despite the differences between the recruitment process between girls and boys.


PLHS Activities

The seniors celebrate their commitment to play collegiate sports. They signed their letter of intent on November 10th.

Lily Ziebarth, Entertainment editor

Competing at the next level can be very intimidating, however a couple girls at Papillion La-Vista High School are ready to compete at the collegiate level and showcase their talent they have developed ever since they were babies.

Senior Eden Ford committed to Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota to play softball and senior Sydney Kotz committed to Mount Marty University in Yankton, South Dakota to play softball and run in track.

Kotz always had a dream to go to a college near her extended family.

“I have always wanted to go to South Dakota because I’m always up there to see family and it is a good distance away from my parents,” Kotz said.

Sometimes it is difficult to choose a dream school where someone would spend four years of their life there. 

“Choosing a school was difficult at first because most of the schools were basically the same,” Ford said. “When I finally visited the school I am going to now, I knew it was my next home and I could see myself living there for the next four years.”

To find the right fit when committing to a college is a competition of its own. Being able to visualize yourself at a campus and feeling a sense of comfort is when an athlete knows they have found their next home. 

“Right when I began my tour I knew it was the perfect fit for me because every professor, coach, and the administration wants all of their athletes to succeed in life, in the classroom, and in your sport,” Kotz said. 

Ford had the chance to commit to a college that she already has experience with the head coach.

“The coaches at the program were one of the main reasons why I chose Northern State,” Ford said. “I worked with the coach [Ashley Schilling] before so it feels special and I am very grateful I get to play for someone that knows me more than just from the field.”

However it is a little different between girls and boys when deciding their college for athletics. Everywhere on Twitter or Instagram there are a bunch of commitment pictures of guys that are in football, basketball, wrestling etcetera, but the majority of them are guys not girls.

“In a way I do feel overshadowed by the male athletes that commit because with Twitter and the school everyone is just excited to see where football players decide to go,” Kotz said. “They make tweets about big news coming up but I personally tweeted my commitment to share with the coaches and family that have helped me along the way, not to show off.”

When it comes to sharing to college coaches your accomplishments in the sport you are in, the recruitment and commitment process is a little different between the boys and girls that are in high school.

“I wish that it was more normalized for girls to post videos and highlights like guys do,” Ford said. “Oftentimes there are sports apps guys have for certain sports to see players but there are no things like that in softball which would make the process easier.”

The coaches and support system around the athletic player has a huge impact on colleges, who looks at the player, and how they are doing in their sport to have them a part of their program.

“My club coach, Amy Baker, the last couple years really pushed me to be better and kept telling me I was good enough to play at the next level,” Kotz said. “I finally listened to her and used the push to start talking to coaches.”

Family and Friends have a huge impact on the player, supporting the player whatever they choose to do after high school.

“My friends and family made the process much easier and less stressful,” Ford said. “Even at times when I felt like I was not good enough to play collegiate sports they told me to stay hopeful and positive.”

As an athlete, they overcome adversity but during that they become a better and more matured athlete in their sport. They work their tails off to impress everyone around them and get better at what they do ever since a young age. Competing at the collegiate level will give them a chance to show how they have improved and will in the end be worth it.