National Signing Day typically marks the end of an intense recruiting process for premiere high school athletes. Traditionally by early February, the chips seem to be falling perfectly into place for many recruits, but as for others, this only marks the beginning of the journey. This happens every year to multitudes of seniors; it is not a well kept secret. Therefore, this should not come as a surprise to athletes who are seeking to play sports at the next level. There are varieties of reasons as to why schools may have passed up on a kid, but that should not be the athlete’s primary concern. It is done with–but how should one respond? One should respond optimistically to the situation. Recruits need to understand that their dreams of playing at the collegiate level are nowhere near over, if they choose to persevere.
On May 8th, 2015 twelve student-athletes at Christopher Columbus High School do just that. They endured through a period of chaos, but have finally found a new place to call home for the next four years. I’m sure they all understood that signing months after Signing Day was not the most marketable thing to do, but in reality who really cares? They’re going to college on scholarship to do what they love, play sports. It is a blessing in disguise. Are they going to play at big named schools in big named conferences? No, but the bottom line is that if you truly enjoy your sport, it does not matter where you end up. By simply looking at the excitement on their faces as they signed the famous letter of intent, was more than enough for me to notice that it was worth it to them. They deserved that huge sigh of relief once they realized that their long drawn out journey had come to a close.
Among the twelve signees were seven football players, two baseball players, one golfer, one tennis player, and one cross country runner. Jorge Areces of the cross country team signed with Florida International University. Captain of the tennis team, Thomas McCoy, will be playing at a school in Pennsylvania. All-Dade Golfer, Julio Betancourt will be competing at Johnson and Wales University. Second Baseman Jackie Urbaez will be continuing his career at Miami Dade as a Shark. Pitcher Nick Silva will be heading up north to play baseball at the University of Maine. Wide Receiver David Pugh will continue to run routes in Pennsylvania at Theil College. Fullback Jp Wassmann will be lead blocking at Case Western University. Captain and Strong Safety, JR Garrigo, signed with Capital University in Ohio. Joey Tolygesi, who was a multi sport athlete, will be kicking at LIU Post. Running Back Ernest Donaldson signed with Webber International in Florida. Lastly, Jason Rodriguez and Anthony Rosenfeld will continue to be teammates at St. John’s in Minnesota.
The recruiting process can be tough, but these twelve guys along with their families should have a lot be proud of. Congratulations and best of luck!