By: Natalie Neuhaus, Reporter ‘21
Over the years, FCS has made a name for itself in the athletic department. From a 17-year-long FSL streak for the boys swimming team, to wrestlers competing at the national level, to the track team producing All-Americans, FCS has constantly impressed not only the Main Line, but the whole country with its strong athletics programs and extremely talented athletes.
Each year a select number of our FCS athletes continue their sports at the collegiate level, ranging from Division III to Division I. This year the graduating class of 2020 has quite a few student athletes committed to continuing their sports in college. When asked what the recruitment process was like, many responded with similar comments: It was stressful. Blake Roshcoff, who is attending Brown University next fall and will be playing on their squash team, said, “I had a rough process, but I am excited to play for the Brown Bears.”
Izzy MacFarlane, who is attending Cornell University and running Track and Field there, touched on the impact of Junior year and the mental side of track: “It was very stressful as track recruitment happens late compared to other sports, so junior year was pivotal to my process. Track is also a very mental sport; obviously you have to be in shape and fit for running, however, it is also very mental. This made it harder for me because my mental state junior year wasn't great just because it's junior year and it's stressful all the time. I'm very happy how it turned out though!”
Rebecca Wushinch, who is still in the process of committing for Cross Country and Track and Field and staying in touch with coaches, specifically with the Air Force Academy coach, said, “The recruitment process was stressful, but also rewarding. A lot of the process is filling out questionnaires, sending emails, and making phone calls. Another really big part of my recruitment process was going on official visits. Official visits are when the coach pays for you to stay overnight with someone on the team and go to class and practice with them. These visits really helped me picture what my life would be like at that school.”
Lydia Russell, who is committed to run both Cross Country and Track and Field at the University of Oregon, also mentioned official visits and the benefits of getting to spend time with the team. “It was really fun in a lot of ways but taxing in many ways as well,” Lydia said. “Initially, talking to coaches was fun, but then it got stressful trying to figure out where and when I would do my visits. In the end though, the visits were definitely the best part (even though they're exhausting) because it's fun to try and picture yourself at different schools.”
Tristan Szapary, who will be joining the Class of 2024 at Princeton University and will be fencing, mentioned the unknowns that come with the recruitment process, while also tying in some advice for future recruits: “[The process is] both intimidating and thrilling at the same time. There are a lot of unknowns which can be stressful, but if you keep your cool, it’ll all work out in the end.”
Reed Cooper, who is going to be attending the University of Pennsylvania and playing club water polo, had a different experience. He explained this, saying, “I received an email from the coach with information inviting me to join the team. This was after I was admitted and had no effect on my application process.”
When asked what they will miss most about FCS athletics, many seniors responded with comments about missing coaches and the tight community that sports at FCS provide. Blake said, “I will miss my fellow teammates and coaches the most.” Izzy shared a similar response, saying, “I will really miss my coaches. They have had such a positive impact on my FCS athletics experience. I will also miss my teammates. For soccer and track, my teammates have really helped me through hard times, and they were always the loudest ones cheering me on. Honestly, I've loved everything about my FCS athletics experience.”
Finally, upon being asked what they are looking forward to in college athletics, it was clear that they all are very excited about what the future will bring! Lydia expressed her excitement about the many more opportunities that will become open to her once she reaches Portland: “I'm looking forward to getting to continue to do what I love, but on an even bigger stage with more opportunities to be recognized. I'm also excited for how many new resources will be made available to me with the sole intention of improving my athletic abilities.” Rebecca said, “I’m looking forward to making new friends and running faster.” Tristan mentioned the excitement of being part of a team and creating bonds: “Being a part of a huge team that travels together will be a new experience for me, and I can’t wait to build those bonds with my future teammates.”
Our FCS community will miss the class of 2020 and the many athletes who will go on to represent their colleges in their select sports. However, we will always hold a spot in our community for their extraordinary athletic accomplishments, both in school and out of school, and we will continue to support each one of them as they continue on with their athletic careers in college and beyond. Best of luck next year, and thank you for representing FCS athletics in such a positive way. You will be missed!