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Recruiting realities

A+soon-to-be+Nebraska+Cornhusker%2C+CCHS+student-athlete+Jessica+Pentlarge+%2717+signs+to+a+future+of+higher+education+at+the+respected+Big+12+university.+Go+Big+Red.
A soon-to-be Nebraska Cornhusker, CCHS student-athlete Jessica Pentlarge '17 signs to a future of higher education at the respected Big 12 university. Go Big Red.

A soon-to-be Nebraska Cornhusker, CCHS student-athlete Jessica Pentlarge '17 signs to a future of higher education at the respected Big 12 university. Go Big Red.

A soon-to-be Nebraska Cornhusker, CCHS student-athlete Jessica Pentlarge '17 signs to a future of higher education at the respected Big 12 university. Go Big Red.

Maddy Bass, Spiritual Life Editor

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With college quickly approaching and recruitment season in full swing, Cathedral Catholic High School student-athletes are preparing for their future college education and athletic endeavors alongside parents and coaches, both of whom have brought them this far in their journeys.

And Jack Renkens knows the path better than anyone.

Renkens, an athletic and educational speaker for 21 years, understands exactly the image college coaches seek when recruiting star students, as he presented in his lecture last Wednesday night in the Guadalupe Center.

“If you want every opportunity both athletically and academically, you have to do something,” Renkens said. “When a student says, ‘my education means the world to me and I want to compete at the next level’ you are here for one reason: you care for your son or daughter’s future and education.”

With more than 4,000 seminars presented at 36 state athletic conferences, Renkens counsels athletes who desire to compete at the next level of sports, emphasizing sportsmanship and behavior as key factors to an athlete’s social and athletic reputation.

CCHS does not fall short in the athletic spectrum, ranking with 16 future collegiate athletes in sports ranging from swimming to lacrosse. In addition, San Diego Preps reports that already three CCHS football players committed to a college or university to continue their passion for their sport.

However, the recruitment and commitment process focuses beyond talents, but the overall behavior and sportsmanship of an athlete.

“I have been in this business for 25 years, and I don’t like seeing talented athletes being taken advantage of,” Renkens said. “The better athlete you are, the bigger target you are. People can snap your every action and you may not even know.

“It’s important to make good decisions as an athlete.”

Many students within the CCHS community achieved this opportunity to thrive in their sports of choice, such as Jessica Pentlarge with competitive swimming, who believes in sacrifice and commitment as preparations for her next big step into college.

“With my passion and love for the sport of swim, it has always been my dream to swim in a fast conference at the collegiate level,” Pentlarge said. “So, I felt very blessed when I started being recruited by various colleges during my junior year.”

Given the wide selection of colleges to choose from, Pentlarge’s decision on the University of Nebraska to continue her passion for swimming remained a difficult choice.

“After a long process of talking to over 30 Division 1 schools and visiting about 7 campuses, with the help of my coaches, teammates, and parents, I made the decision to attend the University of Nebraska,” Pentlarge said. “When I visited the campus and the team I fell in love.”

Similar to Pentlarge’s experience, Jack Pharies ‘17, a senior lacrosse star, agrees that the recruitment process took a long time before finally reaching his full potential, especially in choosing the right school for their talents.

“My sophomore year I switched positions from a midfielder to a Face-Off Specialist,” he said. “As a midfielder, I never thought I could go to the next level. As soon as I started facing-off, I realized that I had a talent for the position, and with practice and hard work, I could become a collegiate level athlete and play at the next level like I always wanted to.”

Despite training, conditioning, and competitions alongside balancing academics, the group of recruited or committed athletes understand the priorities set before them, encouraging their efforts even further.

For Pharies, the journey of playing lacrosse started in fifth grade, and little did he know the recruitment process ahead of him in high school.

“I started my recruiting process by sending a blanket email out to about 60 colleges and waited to see who responded,” Pharies said. “I was scouted by many different schools at different tournaments and showcases. From the colleges that responded, I, along with my parents and coach, looked at the colleges that best fit what I wanted in a college. We narrowed it down to four schools, and from those schools, I chose Centre College.”

Without the support of parents and coaches to guide them on the right path athletically, these star athletes might have struggled on their own, especially in Pharies’s life.

“The people that helped me the most was my parents and my coaches who built me as a person and a player to get to this point,” Pharies said.

With the various steps to completing the recruitment process, it is easy to say that getting into the school of one’s dreams playing the sport of one’s dreams remains attainable .

“You want to go where you can get an education, play, and get funded,” Renkens said. “This is a business. They don’t pay, you don’t play.”

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The School Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School
Recruiting realities