Houghton ’06 and Annicelli ’06 Give PG Perspective on Recruiting Process; Conclude PA’s Athletics Strong Enough to Support Serious Athletes

For some high school athletes, four years of high school athletics are not enough to attain to the level they wish to reach, in order to play college sports. Some student athletes use a PG year in order to raise their academic standards, or to gain an extra year of experience and exposure for college. Many students choose Andover as their school of choice for a PG year because of its high level of both academics and athletics. Two specific students who chose Andover for a Post Graduate year are Charlie Houghton and Whitney Annicelli. Both of these students received contacts from college coaches before they even thought about coming to Andover. Charlie was being looked at and talked to for football by mostly Division 1A and Ivy leagues coaches throughout his senior year. Whitney had gained the attention of a few Division 3 schools, but she had her goals set higher. Whitney did not play summer tournaments for lacrosse, so her exposure to Division 1 coaches was very limited. In order to have an extra summer to play in tournaments and be looked at for Division 1, Whitney decided to make the jump to Phillips for a P.G. year. She had almost applied to Andover as a freshman, but did not want to attend a boarding school for four years. When the option to attend Andover opened up, Whitney decided to give it a look. Out of all the schools she looked at, Andover’s campus had the best feel, and it was close to her father, who works in Boston. The feeling that she got when she visited the campus, helped her to make up her mind in coming here. Charlie chose to do a PG year for a few different reasons. First, Charlie knew that the extra year of academics at Phillips would help transition to college. Charlie also wanted an extra year to prove to coaches that he could play at a high level, and Andover offered him the level of competition that he sought for. Lastly, Charlie is a Canadian resident, and Football in Canada is a little different that football in the states, and Charlie wanted a year to learn the differences of the game. Both Charlie and Whitney strongly believe that doing the Post Graduate year helped them tremendously. Whitney was able to play and extra summer and better schools approached her about playing in college because they knew she was attending Andover. No schools lost interest in Whitney because of her extra year, and most coaches continued contact and some even showed increased interest. Charlie was given continued interest from Division 1 schools, but he feels that the year at Andover opened up doors to some Ivy League schools. Coaches learned that Charlie could play at a high level, and could also do the academics at the same time. No coaches lost interest in Charlie because of his PG year, and as with Whitney, many coaches showed more interest. Charlie wanted to attend the University of Illinois for football, but realized that this was probably not his best option. As the Ivy’s and higher academic schools contacted him, his mindset began to change. He realized that beyond football, the schools that were now contacting him would open up many doors for him later in life. Charlie made the decision to attend Georgetown, a Division 1AA school, where he will be able to play football, and get a great education. The major change for Whitney did not involve her academics, but instead it was the jump from Division 3 interest to Division 1 interest. That was the reason she planned a PG year, and it paid off for her, as she is attending the University of New Hampshire, where she will play lacrosse for the Wildcats. Both these student athletes decided to take the extra year of school work, and athletic maturing in order to better their college chances. Both Charlie and Whitney gained tremendously from their extra year, and by their college choices, it looks as if it paid off for them.