Many kids dream of playing sports at all levels, from YMCA leagues all the way to professional ones but only a few athletes make it to the collegiate level, and even fewer make it to the professional level. Out of the eight million high school student athletes, only 460,000 of them will compete at the collegiate level. It’s not easy to make it to the next level but a select few manage to push themselves hard enough to reach their goals.
Making it to the collegiate level is hard, but making it to a Division 1 school is even harder. Less than 1% of athletes commit to D1 schools. It’s the epitome of amateur sports and nearly every athlete’s dream is to make it to a D1 school.
Realistically, even making it to a D2 or D3 school is a respectable achievement and some special RJR Demons have made this dream come true.
With the first semester quickly nearing its end, some of RJR’s best athletes have committed to some top schools in their respective sports. Some seniors that have made this exciting commitment include Janie Thomas who committed to the University of North Carolina at Asheville for golf, Henley Peatross committed to Meredith College for lacrosse, Ashton Coley committed to Appalachian State University for field hockey, Laney Orr committed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for baseball, Bennett Crane committed to the University of Indiana for tennis, and Patrick Boppel committed to High Point University for lacrosse.
There are many aspects to consider when choosing from the colleges that have given out offers, including the quality of their athletic teams, the academic aspect, and even their locations.
“Out of the schools that gave me offers, Indiana was the best fit for me, mostly because of their tennis program, but also (because of) how good their academics programs (are) as well,” senior Bennett Crane said. “ I felt like it was the right choice for me.”
Some athletes turn to coaches and parents for help in choosing schools.
“I was confident in my decision to go to Indiana, but to make sure it was the right fit for me, I talked to my coaches and my parents. They were all a big help and gave me confidence in my decision with the support they gave me,” Crane added.
The athletes at Reynolds and others across the country all have a few things in common, including work, ethic, dedication a love for the sport and of course, the intense selection process.
“I’ve spent a lot of time playing and practicing tennis. Getting to where I am now took a lot of time, work, and determination,” Bennett Crane said. “It wasn’t easy but when you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t matter. It’s all worth it in the end.”