DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – High school coaches and student-athletes are feeling the effects of the pandemic.
While spring sports are canceled and fall sports face uncertainty, it’s putting seniors in a bind of how to get recruited.
“You just really can’t go out and do the stuff that you usually do, like go out and train. You really got to go out and do it on your own,” student-athlete at Dublin High School, Kendell Wade said.
Wade plays football at Dublin High, and is finishing his junior year. He got injured at the start of last season, and had to sit out the rest of the year. Wade says he was looking forward to a comeback during spring ball and making an impact on college recruiters, but that was put on hold.
“I have a little weight set outside and I’ll just run around the yard and just making sure I’m staying in shape,” he said.
Wade says he hopes to still be recruited. But how student-athletes like Wade get recruited is changing.
“Not only are we losing the ability for college coaches to come in, we’re losing the ability for the guys to go out and get the exposure,” Nick Collins, assistant football coach for Dublin High said.
Dublin High football coaches started a Facebook web series on how student-athletes can still get noticed by colleges.
“Colleges and universities are going to have to adjust their plans. That’s why in reality, your social media, your film, your word of mouth from coaches, all of those things are going to be a factor,” Roger Holmes, head football coach at Dublin High said.
Holmes says now is the time for student-athletes to get their grades up.
“You have become a much more valuable prospect if you do, so use this time to go online and prepare for your SAT/ACT. Continue to do your work and raise your GPA and the athletic end will take care of itself,” Holmes said.
Networking is going to be key to get recruited, too.
“Making phone calls, emails, texts it’s kind of going back to old school recruiting before you had social media,” Collins said.
Student-athletes have a personal responsibility to stay in shape, for when the time comes to play again.
“You’re going to go 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, or however long this is, without implementing your weight program and if those guys have done nothing it’s going to take them longer to catch up and then they become injury prone, so they got to stay in shape,” Collins said.
Coaches and players are encouraging each other to keep working hard, and don’t give up.
“Keep working. When this pandemic is over, don’t come out the same way you went in to it,” Wade said.
Videos are posted every Tuesday, on Dublin City Schools and Dublin High School’s Facebook pages.