Scoring into college
Students find their path to college through their athletic talent and determination.
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Some students play sports to pass time through their high school career. However, some students play sports because it’s their passion, pursuing their athletic dreams in a college setting.
Many people dread applying to college. However, students from Biddeford found their way into college through their passion for athletics. Senior Kendra Cote battled through a long process of working hard to get noticed from volleyball coaches to go to a college that fits her needs.
said Cote. “It’s hard because I’ve had a lot of coaches approach me, but the school itself doesn’t have the major I’m looking to study — which is Exercise Science.”
Cote is looking at Missouri Valley College and Southern Connecticut State University. She visited Missouri Valley College mid-September, however. Cote awaits on the final college acceptances.
“I get to go watch a few games, meet the coaches, get a full campus tour,” said Cote. “I even get to practice with the team.”
High school volleyball coach Chantel Tourigny assists Cote to improve as a player and as a teammate during the fall season.
“[I try to teach her] skills she will certainly use as she continues her volleyball career,” said Tourigny. “I think it’s great that she has found a sport she is passionate about and will have the opportunity to continue playing.”
Just like Cote’s passion for playing volleyball, senior Matt Brady competes in track. Brady is looking at colleges to get a track scholarship — particularly the University of Connecticut.
“I started looking for schools, probably beginning of junior year,” said Brady. “I started emailing a bunch of coaches. We [the UConn coach and I] decided on a date when I can go take a tour. I fell in love with it immediately.”
Brady will sign his letter of intent for UConn in November. However, it took a long journey to get to sign his name on the dotted line.
“Once you have the coaches attention, you want to make sure you keep in touch with them,” said Cote. “Telling them where all of your club tournaments are so that they can come watch you in person [is important].”
After narrowing down the colleges, the student then discusses financial aid and scholarships with their coach. Then they decide whether to commit to the college or not.
“There are two different kinds of commitments,” said Cote. “There are verbal commitments, which is just simply telling the coach that you will play for them and attend that school. There are also official signing commitments, which only happens if they give you an athletic scholarship.”
However, even though the students have a set idea as to what college they dream of attending, they don’t just sit back in their senior year.
“I still want to get good grades for my senior year because I want to get in their higher classes,” said Brady. “I want to try to get into the business school my freshmen year.”
However, with these colleges on their mind, it leads the people around them to have a big weight off their shoulders.
“My coaches are willing to help me with anything,” said Cote. “My parents have been super flexible with their schedule for me so we can visit schools. A lot of my friends and family members are just super proud and supportive with whatever decision I make.”
Tourigny believes that above all, her supporting the fact that Cote is capable of playing after high school is helpful.
“I also stress the importance of academics and fitness,” said Tourigny. “Excelling in both of those areas makes the transition to college much easier.”
Brady is glad his parents don’t have to worry about the stresses as much as others may when it comes to their kids applying to college. However, he’s still stunned himself.
“I act all calm and collected, but I’m just like ‘wow I can’t believe this happened,” said Brady. “It’s just like everything I’ve worked for is beginning to come true.”