Congratulations to ten Strake Jesuit seniors who signed their National Letter of Intent on February 3, 2021 and committed to continue their athletic careers in college.
The ten athletes from the Class of 2021 are:
Carson Brown – Southwestern University, Baseball
Reid Codwell – University of Arizona, Football
Hayden Fetzer – Trinity University, Soccer
Alex Gogola – California Institute of Technology, Soccer
Andy Leon – Columbia University, Baseball
Max Merril – University of Texas at Austin, Football
Connor O’Hara – Austin College, Football
Jacob Psyk – Harvard University, Football
Edgar Romero – Colorado College, Basketball
Robert Smith – University of Maryland, Football
“When I first began receiving interest, I was quickly amazed yet humbled. To hear coaches have legitimate interest in my talent not just on the field but academically, really struck me. It was a huge honor to be thought of so highly by such respected individuals,” said Psyk.
“When I first got on the radar of college coaches it made me want to start working harder. It made me realize how close I really was to my goals and gave me more motivation to keep going and chasing my dream,” Smith added.
They each had a unique recruitment process. For some, colleges reached out to them and for others, they made the initial contact. COVID-19 also made an impact in recruitment. However, they all remained open to the possibility and did not give up in fulfilling their dream.
“Most of my recruiting process was two-way dialogue. Coaches would reach out to me and vice versa,” said Psyk.
“The recruitment process was a little bit stressful for me. Before COVID hit I had a lot of communication with some schools like Virginia but after I wasn’t able to go to some ID camps almost all of that communications fell off. I ended up talking to completely different schools at the end of my junior year heading into the summer than I had the year prior. A couple of these new schools I was talking to had reached out to me like South Dakota School of the Mines and Milwaukee School of Engineering, but some I reached out to first like Colorado School of the Mines and Trinity University,” Fetzer added.
“My recruitment process was not super crazy in terms of having a bunch of schools just bombard me all the time, but a pretty good amount of schools reached out and we talked about once every week or two. I had a mix of both just being reached out to first and me having to reach out first,” said Romero.
They all credit their success in the recruitment process and their openness to growth to their Jesuit education.
“Strake has prepared me by instilling the idea that nothing comes without hard work, I have been taught the value of hard work in the classroom, getting through season-ending injuries, and staying positive the entire time, my life would look vastly different than it does if I attended any other school,” said O’Hara.
“Strake Jesuit has prepared me for whatever is to come in the future. In athletics, Coach Garcia-Rameau along with all the baseball coaches helped me grow as a player and a man, and I can’t thank them enough for that. In academics Strake Jesuit has allowed me to challenge myself in the classroom and grow into a student prepared for college,” Leon added.
“Jesuit gave me a great opportunity to both have high academics and competitive athletics, similar to an environment I will experience in college. The combination of challenging classes and daily practices with two games a week helped me learn time management skills which are helpful to have prior to going to college. Most importantly, Jesuit wants you to succeed and helps you learn the skills you need to thrive in high school and further education. The community at Strake Jesuit from students to teachers supported me no matter what the issue was, whether it was academic, athletic, or even personal issues, I always knew I would have people at Jesuit to turn to for help,” said Gogola.
They also have some advice for those who are looking to continue their athletic careers in college.
“My advice for student athletes beginning the recruitment process is to stay true to the grind. Everyone has their own path and is different from others. Timing might be different for you, but God has you exactly where you need to be. Control what you can control, do not compare your journey to others because that will only hold you back. You only have 4 years of high school sports so enjoy them as much as you can and cherish the memories because they are irreplaceable,” said Smith.
“Honestly, the only advice I have is to trust the process and be confident in yourself. If you know you can ball, then ball out and everything else will fall into place. At times you’ll feel a little discouraged but just know everything will work out in the end!” Codwell added.
We are confident that these young men are ready for the next stage of their athletic careers and we are excited to see how they will continue to be leaders and Men for Others at the next level.