The pen hits the paper and the decision is final. All the hard work, sweat and tears have led to this. Finally the stress is over and the opportunity is there to grab. The papers are gone and the commitment is done, college sports can lead to a whole new field of opportunities.
Out of 7 million girl and boy high school athletes only about 7.3 percent play in college. Senior Carlos Harrison has committed to playing football at University of Wyoming. Committing to a Division 1 school is no simple task, but athletes like Harrison show that with hard work, it is possible.
“The most challenging part would be figuring out the best school for me,” Harrison said. “I wanted a place where I could play football but also focus on my academics.”
Making the final decision on where to go can appear daunting. Having to consider all of the options and offers lengthen the time it takes. Academics and the general culture of the team can be crucial deciding factors.
“[Wyoming] had a really good, supportive environment and I felt welcomed by my future teammates and all the coaches,” Harrison “Wyoming will give me a place to get a great education while allowing me to pursue football.”
The Wyoming Cowboys are apart of the Mountain West Conference. They are a division 1 school and to play there requires a lot of dedication and time. The competitiveness of this level of football allows for Harrison’s personal growth and development skills. Due to busy schedule, the environment the team has is important to have a successful season.
“I’m really excited to be able to push myself to the best of my ability with players that are all wanting to win and work hard,” Harrison said. “I’m excited to create lifelong friendships with my teammates and create a family with the team and coaches.”
It takes a certain type of person to catch the attention of division one coaches. Knowledge of the game and work ethic can be seen consistently through players offered these scholarships. Harrison, a captain this past football season, helped lead the Lancers into an open division third seed.
“Carlos never says no, he is always a reliable player and teammate,” junior Noah Vella said. “He never misses practices and always works hard on and off the field to reach goals, not just for him but for our team.”
Harrison is among a handful of athletes who have earned the chance to play at the collegiate level. Reaching this goals allows for all of the extra hours and practice spent on any aspect of football worth it. Signing to a college is just the first step into a new experience of the sport.
“You can’t get discouraged,” Harrison said. “You always have to believe in yourself and push yourself to the best of your ability. Once you find the college or university you’ll know, it’s like a gut feeling and it’s really exciting.”