Archive for December, 2011

My Athletes Wanted Story: Callie Hemming, Former D1 Soccer Player

My Athletes Wanted Story

Callie Hemming

DePaul University

Soccer

NCSA Social Media Intern

My high school recruiting experience was different from most athletes in high school. However it was still full of highs and lows, and at times feelings of frustration and defeat.  I was fairly proactive in my process starting freshman year of high school I began to seriously consider what I could do to be recruited for college soccer. My sophomore year was when the recruiting process became more serious.

I was lucky enough to be a part of a club team who attended a college showcase nearly every weekend, giving me the opportunity to be seen by hundreds of college coaches. Before each tournament, I would find the list of college coaches coming to the tournament, and send out personal emails to every coach, giving them my recruiting profile and also attaching my schedule for the weekend. I wanted to make sure these coaches knew who I was before they came to the tournament with hundreds of other soccer players.

Around this time, I went on many college visits to schools with successful athletic programs, such as NC-Chapel Hill, Duke, Big 10 Schools, etc. It was here that I thought I would be able to go to these schools, where I would eventually learn was not going to happen. After receiving scholarship offers from many DI schools from the MAC, Big East, and Big 12, I learned to broaden my college search a bit. I ended up eventually verbally committing to a DI school in Georgia by the end of my junior year in High School.

I had gone on my unofficial and official visit to this school and thought the recruiting process was over for me and felt a huge sigh of relief. However, as the signing date got closer and closer, I realized I was not ready to leave the Midwest and decided to de-commit.

Here I was, in my senior year, back at square one. Learning that most DI programs were done with their 2007 recruits, I began to think my dreams of playing college soccer were over. For some reason I had convinced myself not to walk-on somewhere. Deciding that I was not ready to give up on my dream to play D1 college soccer I decided to reach out to a few more schools.

I was able to get the DePaul University coach to come watch me play in one of my high school games. I ended up receiving a scholarship to play for DePaul, in one of the most competitive soccer conferences, the Big East, where I was a 4-year starter. DePaul ended up being the best academic and athletic fit for me. However getting through the recruiting process was not an easy as I thought it was going to be, giving up would have been easy but sticking with it was definitely worth it.

2011 Tom Lemming Banquet

Last night Tom Lemming and NCSA held the Annual Tom Lemming All Area Banquet to honor Chicago Lands top football players of 2011. So who is Tom Lemming and why is he honoring these student athletes?

Tom Lemming remains one of the leading experts on college football recruiting and high school talent. Tom Lemming, a Chicago native, got his start as a stringer for suburban Chicago weeklies covering high school football games. In 1978, he began scouting football prospects, logging his findings in a newsletter he circulated to college coaches and fans alike. Tom Lemming was called “the mailman” as he delivered information about the best recruits to hundreds of college coaches and football fanatics by personally interviewing and scouting players from coast to coast.

The Chicago Sun-Times sponsored the all-area banquet honoring prep football standouts from the Chicago Land Area for two decades, however eventually chose to no longer sponsor this idea. Tom Lemming decided to step in to sponsor the event, since he was already a large part of selecting the student athletes.

The event was held at Galleria Marchetti who made a wonderful meal for the families to enjoy. The NCSA events team did a wonderful job organizing and coordinating the event and the night turned out to be a huge success. The 2011 banquets honored speaker last night was Notre Dame Football coach Brian Kelly.Brian Kelly Speech Below are the athletes who were honored at last night’s event, listed by name, grad year and high school. Special honorees include Athlete of the year Jordan Westerkamp a senior from Moniti, who lead his team to a state championship and has committed to the University Of Nebraska.  Coach Randall Townsel Hales Franciscan High was honored with the Ath-Lead-Er-Ship award for giving back to his community and empowering leaders through sportsRandall Townsel Speech. Lastly Coach John Ivlow from Bolingbrook high school was named Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 14-1 record and a state championship win.Coach of the Year Speech

First Last YR High School
2012
Willie  Allen Allen 2012 Hales
Jordan Diamond Diamond 2012 Simeon
Brandon Greer 2012 Mt. Carmel
Malin Jones 2012 Joliet Catholic
Antonio Morrison 2012 Bolingbrook High School
Michael Panico 2012 Carmel
Tommy Schutt 2012 Glenbard West
Anthony Standifer 2012 Crete Monee
Ryan Ward 2012 Providence Catholic
Jordan Westerkamp 2012 Montini
2013
Matt Alviti 2013 Maine South
Aaron Bailey 2013 Bolingbrook High School
Caleb Bailey 2013 Romeoville
Khairi Bailey 2013 Morgan Park
Josh Baldus 2013 Palatine
Jalen Banks 2013 Thornton
Fred Beaugard 2013 Montini
Jesse Bobbit 2013 Palatine
Kyle Bosch 2013 St. Francis
Kerron Bragg 2013 Leo
Corey Davis 2013 Wheaton Warrenville South
Ruben Dunbar 2013 Glenbard West
Danny Friend 2013 Morris
Colin Goebel 2013 Naperville North
Matthew Harris 2013 Lyons
Blake Holder 2013 Streamwood
Ty Isaac 2013 Joliet Catholic
Kendall Johnson 2013 Glenbard West
Camden Kuksa 2013 Palatine
Jake Lemming 2013 Lemont
Mickey Macius 2013 St. Viator
Nathan Marcus 2013 Glenbard West
Matt Page 2013 Brother Rice
Jamaal Payton 2013 Proviso West
Ethan Pocic 2013 Lemont
Cole Reyes 2013 Schaumburg
John Serio 2013 Palatine
Chris Streveler 2013 Marian Central Catholic
LaQuan Treadwell 2013 Crete-Monee
Jordan Watson 2013 Hales
2014
Nick Allegretti 2014 Lincoln-Way East
Shane Evans 2014 Prairie Ridge
Jake Godfrey 2014 Providence Catholic
Ryan Graham 2014 Wheaton Warrenville South
Romel Hill 2014 Richards
Justin Jackson 2014 Glenbard North
Jamarco Jones 2014 De La Salle
Jake Kolbe 2014 Naperville Central
Nyles Morgan 2014 Crete Monee
Sadarriss Patterson 2014 Schaumburg
Devin Pitts 2014 Homewood Flossmoor
Mylan Reeves 2014 Homewood Flossmoor
Arnold Shead 2014 North Chicago
Stacey Smith 2014 Schaumburg
Demetrius Streeter 2014 Proviso West
Nile Sykes 2014 Oak Park- River Forest
Clayton Thorson 2014 Wheaton North
Nic Weishar 2014 Marist
Mikale Wilbon 2014 De La Salle
Matthew Zolper 2014 Schaumburg
2015
Miles Boykin 2015 Providence Catholic
Dyrrah Christon 2015 Bishop McNamara Catholic
Nolan Dean 2015 Neuqua Valley

Once again thank you to Tom Lemming for keeping this event an important part of Chicago, as well as to NCSA and founder Chris Krause for the sponsorship, to all of the athletes, coaches and their families.

Presenting Yourself to College Coaches

The recruiting process can be very overwhelming and difficult for student athletes. On average a college coach only has 500 dollars to recruit for the entire year. With over 7.3 million high school athletes in the United States and countless others across the world it is important to make yourself stand out. However you do not want to make a coach remember you in a negative way, you want to present yourself as the best possible candidate to receive an athletic scholarship. Many of the things below seem like common sense but often athletes below forget these rules. Below are three places where I see student athletes falter the most often

Social Media

While Facebook and twitter should be a place where you can relax, post silly pictures and funny jokes on your friend’s walls and twitter feeds, the reality of the situation is that coach’s look at these sites to see “the character” of the athlete that they are recruiting. Even if you have your page set to private there are always ways to get around that, maybe your friends page that isn’t private has pictures of you or posts from you that do not put you in the best light. I always tell athletes to think before you post something on the internet, if you even hesitate for a second to post it… DON’T. If it is not something you would want your Grandmother to see then it should not be posted. Once something is online it is there forever even if you delete it, it can always be found. Simple things like having an inappropriate default of yourself “flicking off” the camera can turn coaches off from recruiting you. Even having an inappropriate twitter handle name with crude language could potentially show a coach that you do not have the correct reputation or character that he wants on his team.

Email

Just like your twitter handle you need to make sure that your email address is appropriate, it seems like a small thing but it could be the difference between a coach opening your email or deleting it. Your email address name is the first impression a coach will get from you.  A first impression is a lasting impression, and it is hard to overcome a bad first impression. Have a simple email address usually your first and last name is best and easy to identify. Furthermore you need to have proper grammar, English and punctuation when emailing. You need to speak clearly and specifically explain to the coach why you are contacting him.  Make sure you spell out all your words do not use “U” for you, or “da” for the, or “r” for are. A coach needs to know that you can handle yourself well and represent his program to the highest esteem as well that you are educated enough to write an email before he admits you to his university.

Phone Conversations/ Voice Mail

Talking on the phone can be awkward for student athletes at first but after 5-10 phone calls that athlete should begin to feel more comfortable. However even as the student athletes become comfortable they still need to be prepared for a coach’s call. Next to the phone should be a prepared list of answers to questions that coaches may ask you as well questions that you want to ask the coach about the school or the program. Talking with a coach should be a two-way street not only should a coach be getting a sense of who you are, you need to be getting to know the coach as well. It is important that you speak clearly so that the coach can understand you, just like when writing an email you need to be formal when speaking to a coach. You need to remember that you aren’t talking to your best friend. While it is important for the coach to get a sense of your personality, so do not be rigid and quiet but just remember that you need to be professional during these phone calls. Lastly make sure you have a voicemail script written out for when you call coaches. Often time’s kids will fumble their words when leaving a voicemail, by preparing a script ahead of time you will be able to leave a clear and concise voicemail.