Is There Something In the Water?

Unreal number of athletes commit to colleges

2018: a class of athletes, scholars, and beauties. With Kettle Run’s only three state titles won within the 2018s time at the school, the athletes have upped the standard for Cougar athletics. This year’s senior class has a breaking number college-bound athletes.

Athletic prowess alone isn’t enough to push an athlete into the world of college athletics. These student-athletes had to be fully committed on the field, in the classroom, and in the recruiting process.

Committed to play NCAA Division I lacrosse at Virginia Commonwealth University, senior Mary O’Toole made her decision early, verbally committing during her sophomore year at Kettle Run.

“A lot of my time has been dedicated to, not only practicing lacrosse, but conditioning and working out,” O’Toole said. “What stood out to me about VCU was their Humanities and Sciences program.” With VCU’s women’s lacrosse program being only three years old, O’Toole is excited to be a part of building something from the ground up.

Unlike O’Toole, senior David Haiss didn’t find his sports niche until his last year at Kettle Run. After playing baseball for three years and dabbling in track and field, Haiss decided to return to his childhood sport: football. After a standout season with seven touchdowns and over 700 receiving yards, he was quickly recruited by Virginia colleges. Haiss made the decision to attend Hampden-Sydney College, an NCAA Division III college south of Charlottesville.

“Out of all of the schools that I visited, Hampden-Sydney was the most professional,” said Haiss. “The brotherhood that they have is like no other I’ve ever seen. It felt like home.”

Other seniors decided to stray from the generic college athletics path. Senior lacrosse player Kristin Delclos plans to attend Siena Heights University in Michigan, an NAIA college, as opposed to an NCAA affiliated school.

“I really liked the school and the people,” Delclos said. “Plus, they helped out a lot with financial aid, so that made the decision a little easier.”

Taking over the program after multiple losing seasons, head football coach Charlie Porterfield revamped the Cougar football program, sending a record number of 2018 football players to college athletics.

“Right now we have six players planning on continuing their football careers at the next level,” Porterfield said. “In today’s world, so much of recruiting is done online, and on social media. Our job as the high school coaches is to promote the players that are deserving of the chance to play in college. We will speak with a recruiter when they visit the school, send emails to colleges, and help facilitate visits.”

While it may seem like a taxing process, the general consensus among collegebound athletes is “you know when it’s the right school”.

“Take every opportunity to make yourself better, whether you are on the field, in the classroom, or the community,” Porterfield said. “They must get comfortable being uncomfortable. People forget that college football is a business and the people that coach make a living from the players they recruit. In order to play at the next level, a player must fully dedicate themselves to the process.”