Athletes continue college commitment process despite pandemic

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Contributed by Ryan Lapatine '23

Gaby Gonzales ’22 continues to practice her sport everyday, to allow for her best performance when attending Cornell University in the fall of 2022.

Julia Leitner '23, Staff Writer

Amid the craziness of COVID-19, juniors at Staples have not stopped grinding through the college commitment process. Soccer player Gaby Gonzales ’22 and lacrosse players Mia and Mckenzie Didio ’22 and Aidan Best ’22 have all committed to division one schools as juniors. 

Their determination and diligence has not dimmed despite all of the bumps in the road, especially those that have occured in the past few months. All four athletes have played on Staples and club teams and continued to practice their sport throughout the pandmeic. As a result of their hard work, their dreams of playing a division one college sport have come true. 

The Coronavirus has greatly changed the college recruitment and commitment process. With sport seasons, college tours and meetings with coaches being canceled, the process for the class of 2022 had been far from normal. Athletes have been forced to get creative and aggressive when getting in contact with coaches.  

“COVID-19 certainly affected the process because coaches haven’t been able to see me play in over six months,” Gonzales said. “I had to update schools with films of me playing to remind them of my strengths.”

Colleges across the country adjusted to comply with the new circumstances in order to continue giving talented athletes the opportunities that they deserved. Along with sending videos, athletes have partaken in zoom meetings with coaches and college officials, and have  created their own workout plans that could be done in quarantine. 

Although many seasons may have been canceled, it is still important for athletes to continue their training. The Didio’s found success in working together and pushing each other to work hard everyday. 

“Having a twin doing the exact same thing [as me] was extremely helpful,”  Mia Didio said. 

I couldn’t see myself not pursuing this sport in college because it is such a significant part of my life.”

— Gaby Gonzales '22

These future division one athletes have worked extremely hard since a young age to get to where they are today. An average week consists of some form of exercise or practice for hours every day. Through the trying circumstances, each athlete gave thanks to the people that have helped them the most throughout this whole process. Not one of them hesitated to mention their parents, as well as their several coaches. 

“[Both my parents and coaches] really pushed me to work hard on and off the field,” Best said.

No matter what the upcoming years will look like regarding college sports and recruitment, these four juniors are excited and open minded about their journey ahead.

“I couldn’t see myself not pursuing this sport in college,” Gonzales said, “because it is such a significant part of my life.”