Bradley Jaguars Continue Their Athletic Careers in College

The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.

by Emily Siford, Arts and Style Editor

Drew Donaldson (12), Emily Siford (12) ,and Attia Soliman (12) are pictured playing the sport they will continue in college.

Drew Donaldson (12), Emily Siford (12) ,and Attia Soliman (12) are pictured playing the sport they will continue in college.

Athletic signing day for high schoolers is rapidly approaching, and here at Hilliard Bradley High School we have several very talented athletes signing to the college of their choice. Being recruited by a college sports team takes a lot of hard work, effort and grit. Planning on attending a college and continuing your athletic career is a really tough choice that most high school athletes must makes. The Jaguar Times interviewed some Bradley Jaguars who are planning on participating in college athletics. The Jaguar Times interviewed Allie Holland (11), Drew Donaldson (12), Attia Soliman (12) and Emily Siford (12).

#1) What college are you attending and for what sport?

Allie: “I’m attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to play Division 1 volleyball”

Drew: “Lake Erie College for Division 2 for baseball”

Attia: “Lincoln Memorial University In Harrogate, Tennessee. They’re a Division 1 men’s volleyball team”

Emily: “I will be attending Capital University in Bexley, Ohio to play Division 3 women’s lacrosse”

#2) When being recruited, what qualities in the schools and sports team did you consider when making your decision?

Allie: “When I was being recruited, I looked at the academic support provided to athletes as a huge deciding factor. In my opinion UT (University of Tennessee) has some of the best academic support in the country for their student athletes Each team has multiple academic advisors and tutors to help assist the athletes who are already keeping a very busy schedule. I also considered the overall atmosphere of the campus, how clean everything was and how nice their facilities were. I also looked at the attitudes of the girls on the volleyball team and I saw myself fitting in well with the team.”

Drew: “Some qualities I looked for in the schools is if it had my major, close but also far enough away from home and if it felt like home on campus. For sports, I looked st liking the coaching staff and how they see the future of the baseball program would be with me. I also look at the player development they do.”

Attia: “I looked for a school that had the best of both worlds academically and athletically. I really focused on academics because I realized early in my recruiting process that I still have to come out of college with a great degree where I can be successful. Team wise I wanted to find a coach that believed in me and a team that was a close knit brotherhood and each person was truly for the team. The atmosphere at LMU is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and you can sense it when you’re on campus. I can’t wait to get on campus next fall and be apart of the brotherhood.”

Emily: “When looking at schools, I primarily focused on if the school provided a major I was interested in. I really wanted to focus on getting my degree in college while still being able to do what I love, playing lacrosse. Division 3 schools focus mainly on your education then your athletic career. When visiting a variety of D1, D2 and D3 schools, Capital stood out to me because of the team dynamic and unique campus. I wanted to be close to home and to have a clean campus just like Capital. After my second lacrosse visit there, I knew it was for me.”

#3) How long did your personal recruitment process take?

Allie: “I got my first college volleyball letter in 8th grade, but I did not start my recruiting process until the beginning of my freshman year. After a few months of calling coaches and visiting schools while weighing my options, I picked UR in September of my sophomore year.”

Drew: “I started my recruitment process about my sophomore year. I started by reaching out to coaches. My process ended this past August when I committed to play baseball at Lake Erie College.”

Attia: “I started my process right away, on September 1st of my junior year. My whole entire recruitment process took around a year and a half. At first I talked to a couple of schools. But as my club season started to get more intense, I started gaining interest from more schools. I started talking to LMU at the beginning of my senior year. Right away I knew it was a good fit. Coach Cash and my family have really developed a amazing relationship and I knew I found a home right when I saw campus.”

Emily: “My recruitment process started during the summer of my junior year. This is when I really started to intensify my lacrosse career by attending college prospect camps, recruiting clinics and even joining a club lacrosse team. The process was unique because several schools reached out to me for lacrosse and it was hard to narrow down where I wanted to visit. After taking visits that whole summer and I made the choice of committing to Capital in November of 2018.”

#4) Any tips for people going through being recruited to play college sports?

Allie: “If you want to play in college you have to fully dedicate yourself and truly love your sport. You need to be advancing your skills everyday by fully dedicating yourself to the sport. For the recruitment process, you have to really put yourself out there and be consistent with emailing and calling coaches. They show more interest in you when you’re more open and interested in their school.”

Drew: “A tip would be is to not only go for D1 schools. Go for the D2 and D3, JUCO programs because those programs can be as good or even better than D1 schools. Another tip is to not get discouraged if a coach doesn’t answer your email or if they aren’t interested. Just use those responses to motivate you, get through it and keep going strong. My last tip would be to ‘prove them wrong.’”

Attia: “My advice would be to figure out early if you want to be an athlete in college or not. Keep all your options open, because you never know what could happen. It’s a long grueling process and you just have to be patient, continuing working on your craft, and trust the process.”

Emily: “My best advice to many high schooler wanting to playing college sports is to keep your options open. Don’t turn down offers from smaller schools just because they are smaller and not as well known. Don’t get frustrated with your journey and keep focused on the main goal in mind; playing college sports. Continue to work hard at your sport and put in extra effort after practices, games, etc. Know what’s best for yourself and your education and your body.”

           Congratulations to all the athletes continuing their athletic careers in college, the Bradley family is extremely excited to see you succeed in the future. Go jags!