College Recruiting: the ultimate challenge for a 2022 athlete


Adrie Villa

Austin Moon is signing his National Letter of Intent to play Baseball at the College of Idaho, “I had to send out a lot of emails to coaches to get recruited” says Austin.

Adrie Villa, Sports Editor

The Class of 2022 got the short end of the stick when it comes to Sports Recruiting for College. A process that traditionally takes place in an athletes’ sophomore to junior year, was canceled for most of this year’s Senior Class. There are athletes that persevered through the unforeseeable obstacles and are now heading to college to play their sport at the next level.

To be given the opportunity to play a collegiate sport at any level is an achievement in and of itself. An average of only 7% of High School athletes go on to compete at the collegiate level. At Don Lugo High School 2 prominent student-athletes have committed to their sport and will be keeping their status of a ‘student-athlete’ next Fall. 

Austin Moon is a Senior on the varsity baseball team and has committed and signed to play baseball at the College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho. The NAIA program is getting a dedicated student-athlete coming their way for the spring 2023 season. Austin has been on varsity all 4 years and played Travel-Ball with the West Coast Blackdogs.

The pandemic has made it especially difficult for recruits to get noticed by coaches with almost all recruiting camps and games being canceled. “I just had to email coaches and send them video for them to see me because all the events were canceled”, said Austin. Austin has family in Idaho and for him, it seemed like the ideal place to be able to continue his athletic career.

Austin signed his NLI (National Letter of Intent) on January 8. Austin is planning on majoring in psychology at The College of Idaho and is excited for what the future holds. “It feels good to be committed, and it just opens new doors for me”, said Austin.

Elizabeth Ortiz is practicing with the Saint Katherine’s Beach Volleyball team, “I used ‘SandRecruits’ and an Instagram page to post my volleyball clips” says Elizabeth. (Photo Courtesy: Adrie Villa)

ASB President, Elizabeth Ortiz has verbally committed to play beach volleyball at the University Saint Katherine in San Marcos, California. At Don Lugo, Elizabeth has played varsity (indoor) volleyball for 3 years and has been a part of 2 league championships. Her recruiting was affected heavily in the summer of 2020 when all of her national tournaments were canceled.

Elizabeth started emailing coaches and putting clips of her playing on an Instagram page that was strictly for volleyball. “Recruiting has become heavily social media-based because coaches were not able to come out in person”, said Elizabeth. While at the University of Saint Katherine, Elizabeth wants to major in Marine Biology and hopes to get an internship at SeaWorld.

With all the chaos that the pandemic has caused, these student-athletes remained persistent in their efforts to get recruited. Both Austin and Elizabeth say that being committed has taken the stress of recruiting off of their shoulders. Both athletes will be participating in Don Lugo’s signing day sometime in the future.

For any athletes who are becoming discouraged about the recruiting process, Elizabeth says that you need to be consistent. “I would say being consistent is the key to recruiting, you can not just email a coach once”, said Elizabeth. Don Lugo High School is extremely proud of Austin and Elizabeth’s accomplishments in their sports and hopes to be able to celebrate more athletic commits in the future.