College Commits From OPHS

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College Commits From OPHS

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Many student athletes from Orchard Park High School are fortunate enough to play their respective sport at the next level, college athletics. Having this opportunity takes a lot of hard work, on and off the field, and also,  most importantly, in the classroom.

2018 graduate Ryne Dietz is currently playing college football at Carnegie Mellon University. Dietz was a captain his senior year, as well as playing in the WNY High School varsity football all-star game. His hard work on the field and with the recruiting process helped him get to the next level, but more importantly, his outstanding grades throughout high school increased his opportunities. “I made a Hudl highlight film and sent it to schools I was interested in as well as filling out their recruiting questionnaires,” Dietz said. A majority of colleges have sport- specific recruiting questionnaires that tell their coaches that you are interested in their school and that you took the time to research their university.

Senior Julia Schurr has is committed to Canisius College to play Division 1 women’s soccer. Schurr is a four- year varsity player for the high school team, and a captain in her senior season. During the winter of her junior year, she “guest played with a team the assistant coach at Canisius [also] coached, and he asked if I was interested in Canisius. Then I did an academic visit with the head coach and [the soccer staff] made an offer,” said Schurr. Hard work on the field and in the classroom gave her this opportunity, and it helped her to commit the spring of her junior year.

Senior Adam Riter has recently committed to St. John Fisher College for baseball and to study accounting. Riter played on the high school varsity baseball team since he was called up freshman year for playoffs. “During a baseball tournament at Canisius College, the St. John Fisher College baseball coach saw me play and liked what he saw out of me. He then reached out to me over text, and I did an official visit.  [I was] then made an offer,” said Riter. Staying in constant contact with the coach over the summer showed expressed his interested in the college, and his excellent high school grades helped him to secure his roster spot.

Junior Brooke Becker is verbally committed to Providence College to play Division 1 women’s ice hockey. Becker is very well known in the Western New York hockey community; she helped the school team bring home one state championship and two section championships so far in her high school career. “I did a lot of extra tournaments and showcases on top of what I was already doing for my travel team. I went to highly-recruited camps and showcases, knowing they would improve my chances of being seen. I filled out a bunch of online recruiting forms on many school websites, as well,” said Becker. Hard work in the classroom and on the ice gave her opportunities to play at the next level, but her research and effort in the recruiting process on her own time helped her get a roster spot.

If a young athlete is reading this, I hope you can understand the amount of time and effort it takes to play athletics at the college level. Aside from being a good athlete, focusing on academics and maintaining good grades in high school is the most important part of the recruiting process. Without a solid transcript, most coaches will scratch you off their list. You also need to be willing to consistently put your own time into researching colleges and reaching out to coaches. It is never too early to start!

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