For many student-athletes, junior year serves as a critical season for college scouting and recruiting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s spring sports season at the high school was canceled, as were summer college camps, affecting many junior athletes.
In lacrosse, the most important two years for recruiting are sophomore and junior year, and the summer and fall are when coaches are looking the most. People who go to DI lacrosse programs mostly commit in the fall or early winter of their junior year, while people looking to go to DIII programs usually commit in the summer or fall going into senior year.
Maja Desmond ’21 is committed to Dartmouth College for lacrosse, yet is missing out on her junior lacrosse season. She remains optimistic and feels grateful for her position as she will still be able to experience a senior lacrosse season next year.
“I feel horrible for all the seniors on my team who were stripped of their senior season, and I can’t even imagine how they are feeling, knowing that they won’t ever get to play for the high school again” said Desmond.
Luckily, her commitment to Dartmouth should remain. This time is more difficult for those still looking to be recruited.
“As long as I keep my grades up, I will most likely not be affected. Although, for people who are trying to get recruited and have yet to commit, the season being canceled can be very stressful because they most likely needed that time to be evaluated by coaches” said Desmond.
Lauren Burke ’21, a fellow junior lacrosse player, plans and hopes to be recruited by a college for lacrosse. Unfortunately, not having a spring season makes it so there are less chances for coaches to scout players.
“Because there is no season, college coaches can no longer come to watch any games. Many of the summer recruiting tournaments and camps have been canceled too. This makes it harder for coaches to make their final decisions about their prospects,” said Burke.
Fortunately, this has not drastically changed Burke’s future goals around getting recruited.
“I still plan on playing college lacrosse (most likely DIII) and I am excited to know more as summer comes around,” said Burke.
The season cancellation definitely brought up many emotions for the teammates. The strength of their team bond shows.
“I was extremely disappointed when I heard that the spring sports seasons were canceled. I had been looking forward to the season all year and I was super excited to get back on the field with some of my best friends” said Desmond.
“I felt bad for the seniors on the team who would never get to play another high school game. It was also hard knowing I would never play with them again, because many of them have been my very close friends since freshman year,” said Burke.
No matter what, they are both thankful for their position during this time because they understand the intensity of what many other people are dealing with right now.
“I understand the severity of the situation and know canceling the school year, along with the spring sports season, was necessary for everyone’s safety; it is truly and unprecedented time, and I am extremely grateful for all the front line workers and volunteers who are risking their lives so people can return to their normal lives soon,” said Burke.