Experts Offer Advice On What High School Athletes Can Do About College Recruiting

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Fall sports will have to wait until the spring at public schools across New York State.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Wednesday that football, volleyball and competitive cheer seasons have been postponed until March due to concerns about the coronavirus at the 800 high schools governed by the association.

“We’ve spent two days speaking with nearly 500 athletic directors across the state and it’s clear that administering high-risk fall sports during the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge for our member schools,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. “These are unprecedented times and, unfortunately, difficult decisions will have to be made to address this ongoing crisis.”

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

It’s the latest in a series of pandemic-related delays across high school athletics, and the decision could have an impact on all-important college recruiting.

“It became unrealistic to think that games were going to be able to be offered in those high-risk sports this fall. It would be more likely to consider participating in games in the springtime,” Zayas said.

It was a difficult decision to make and tough to hear for high school football players like Colin Walsh, of Garden City.

“Now a lot of kids won’t have the chance to get recruited,” he said.

“This would have been many of the football players’ last shot at maybe getting a phone call, maybe getting seen, and now there is nothing. They are kind of defeated,” Colin’s mother, Tara Walsh, said.

RELATED STORY: Connecticut Cancels High School Football For Fall Due To COVID-19

But some teens are proving you can still get recruited without game play.

For months, Morgan Tesser, a Kennedy High School softball player, has been documenting her agility and determination in daily social media posts after spring softball was canceled.

“Just anything I do with my dad, hitting at the field, a lesson, throwing, swinging in the pool, hitting in my driveway,” Tesser told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

And it worked. She got a scholarship from a Division One school.

“She was proof that she’s out there. She’s not the biggest, she’s not the strongest, just hardworking, dedicated,” Morgan’s father, Dr. Lawrence Tesser, said.

College advisor Andy Lockwood says if your season was cut short or delayed, you can still market yourself to colleges.

“A lot of my clients will email coaches, they’ll follow them on social media,” he said.

Videos can highlight your agility and work ethic, and exchanges with recruiters can show your character.

“Personal qualities, perseverance, coachability,” Lockwood said.

RELATED STORY: High School Football Is Back In New Jersey, But Safety Is Top Priority On Everyone’s Mind

But some sports skills are more difficult to demonstrate than others.

In football, there isn’t always a club team, and now there’s no practice to videotape until March 1.

“This was the season they were looking forward to,” Tara Walsh said. “For someone that maybe wasn’t as big last year and then this was the summer that all of a sudden, wow, I might have a shot here, and now, you know, those dreams kinda went out the window.”

Low and moderate risk fall sports practices are still scheduled to begin Sept. 21. Those sports include girls tennis, cross country, girls swimming and diving, boys and girls soccer and field hockey.

The start date for the spring sports season has also been moved from March 15 to April 19.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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