BOSTON (CBS) — For high school athletes, junior year is their best chance to show college coaches that they can play at the next level. But spring sports athletes will not have that opportunity this year.
For high school juniors trying to get recruited, the coronavirus pandemic is causing a major crisis.
“It’s tough. Lots of [college] coaches come to junior games, summer ball too,” said Patrick Wade, a junior on the St. Sebastian’s baseball team. “The more they see you the better, obviously.”
“There’s a lot of things going through my mind right now,” added Jake Lavoie, also a junior on the St. Sebastian’s baseball team. “Just the uncertainty for the future, because you don’t really know what’s in store for the future.”
The unknown surrounding everything is the biggest problem. While students are trying to figure out their futures, so are college coaches.
“We all have to have some patience right now because of all the uncertainty,” said Northeastern baseball coach Mike Glavine. “And as frustrating and as difficult as that can be, you just try to be patient and see how this will play out.”
“We really can’t predict what’s going to happen in the summer or the fall right now,” said Taylor Bastien, the women’s lacrosse coach at Bentley. “We’re just being patient.”
As for what those athletes should be doing during these uncertain times, Bastien says they should be doing everything they can off the field, and whatever they can at home to hone in on their skills.
“They should be reaching out to college coaches — emailing, maybe scheduling phone conversations and Zoom video conferences,” she said. “Even working on your game in the backyard.”
“Let them know they’re interested,” said Glavine. “That you’re hoping to stay ready so they can play this summer. From our perspective, we’re just trying to let them know where we’re at.”
Meanwhile, many of these student-athletes are trying to maintain a positive attitude while wading through these uncharted waters.
“I’m sort of focusing on the academic part first, and maybe focusing on the tennis part later,” said Andover High junior Isabel Zhou. “Since the situation is still a little bit uncertain at the moment, I’m just kind of seeing how things work out.”
“You can only control what you can control,” said Wade. “You try to stay positive, work hard, and stay in shape for when you get the call that you can go back.”
Many college coaches have seniors coming back for another season, which could lead to a numbers crunch. It’s possible that many high schoolers may be asked to think about taking a gap year, a post-grad year, or maybe even re-classifying for an additional year in high school.
There are a lot of questions, and unfortunately, not many answers for anyone involved.