Ward ’06 and Wadland ’06 Share College Recruiting Experience; Summer Plays Invaluable Role in Getting Noticed by Coaches

As the spring comes and goes, many Uppers have dreams of playing sports in college, whether it is Division I, II, or III. These dreams may become realities, as the college recruiting process begins for the top athletes of the class of 2007. For two athletes in the class of 2006, these dreams did come true, as they are continuing their athletic career in college. Matt Ward ’06 and Julie Wadland ’06 are both planning on supporting their college teams on the field. Ward made the decision to attend Wesleyan College after originally being interested in Ivy League schools. Wadland was also interested in the Ivies and committed last summer to Dartmouth. Both players started the college recruiting process early, contacting colleges and coaches in their Upper springs. Ward sent gamefilm and letters to gain the attention of certain colleges. Wadland also contacted coaches, but the coaches did not start to show interest in her until the summer. Wadland and Ward both had extremely busy summers. Wadland attended two lacrosse camps, lacrosse tournaments, and Lacrosse Nationals. The summer was a time for her to develop as a player and gain the attention of the Dartmouth coaches. Wadland said, “I improved greatly from my Upper spring to my Senior fall as a lacrosse goalie; I was a completely different person in the net.” While attending the Dartmouth camp last summer, the coaches became interested in her. She sent in the application soon after, and received a likely letter and positive feedback from Dartmouth. She met with the coaches at a later time, and verbally committed to attend and play lacrosse. Ward was also very busy last summer. He took part in camps and tournaments for all three different sports. Although his summer was busy, Ward felt like it paid off as it allowed coaches to see him in action, meet with him one on one, and get a sense of his personality. Ward had a few more decisions to make than Wadland in his college decision. While Wadland knew her athletic future lay in lacrosse, Ward had three sports—football, hockey and lacrosse—he was still passionate about. He had to prepare for each of them during the summer. Ward said, “The most important thing in dealing with multiple sports was taking one thing at a time, and focusing on the one task currently at hand.” While preparing to play three sports may have felt hectic last summer, Ward believes that it ultimately helped him. He was able to speak with more coaches, and it allowed him more versatility because he had more than one sport pulling for him. Ward was not as lucky as Wadland because he was not able to commit early to college. Thus, his recruiting process continued into his senior year. He continued to send film and letters. He was still contacting coaches on the phone, and coaches still showed interested in him. In the end, Ward decided to attend Wesleyan for many reasons. He liked the campus, and the coaches, and the academics were what he was looking for. He will also be able to continue playing two sports there, as his athletic career will continue in both football and lacrosse. Lastly, both athletes believe the most important thing they did in the recruiting process was reaching out to colleges early. Both of them began the process Upper year and stayed persistent. Although the recruiting process was strenuous, both athletes are pleased with the results. The Phillipian is sure they have bright futures ahead.