Athletics continue winning tradition with new recruits

Year in and year out Guilford College coaches invest countless hours recruiting electrifying and talented student-athletes to develop into key components for the rich Quaker athletic tradition.

Last season’s first-year recruits, basketball power forward Will Freeman and tennis star Turner Votipka, are two examples of how newcomers set high standards for Guilford College athletics.

Freeman, the sixth man off the bench, ignited the men’s basketball team and won the 2011 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year Award. Votipka’s brilliant 2011 campaign earned him First Team All-ODAC tennis honors.
Initially high school players obtain notification from coaches through letters, game visits, and text messages.

“This generation of kids does not like to talk on the phone,” said Head Volleyball Coach Emily Gann.
This year texting is a new recruiting tool coaches use to contact prospective Division III players. Texting assists coaches in contacting players more easily throughout the recruiting process and is designed for busy student-athletes and coaches with time limitations.

The recruiting process is tough for coaches when deciding which prospective athletes to bring to campus. Since Guilford is a Division III institute, the National Collegiate Athletic Association rules forbid extending athletic scholarships.

This scholarship limit did not deter future team members in selecting Guilford. In fact, all the student-athletes that were interviewed expressed strong feelings that, while being recruited, Guilford’s highly intense academic program played a major role in their final decision.

“Academics are a key factor in my life,” said sophomore basketball player Matt McCarthy. “I did my own research.”

When asked about recruiting possible targets, Eric Lewis, head coach of women’s soccer, describes it as similar to the dating process.

“You have to build a sturdy relationship, maintain excellent communication, and most importantly keep players happy and in the most comfortable situation as possible,” said Lewis.

As Guilford embarks on the 2012 Fall Semester, the Quaker community is thrilled about the fresh recruits who traveled to Greensboro from around the world, like first-year volleyball players Kelsey Ruehling of Central California and Miranda Popp — whose family lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

These student-athletes recognized the smaller, intimate educational setting for which Guilford is known. Both players are competing for starting positions.

Sophomore soccer striker Hannah Schiltz had the opportunity to play at a larger institution, but she felt the level of competition was stronger on the East Coast. She also mentions that the team dynamic gave her a sense of family that she wanted while competing in college.

“I knew I was coming to Guilford College because of my recruiting visit, just the way the girls accepted me and they immediately treated me like family,” Schiltz said enthusiastically. This idea of acceptance of new students thrives in the athletic department at Guilford.

“We never rebuild. We refocus,” said Chris Barnette, assistant football coach and offensive coordinator, as they enter the 2012 season with high expectations from their recruits.

First-year projected quarterback starter, Matt Pawlowski’s confidence in the Guilford football staff , along with teh hopes of seeing his family at each of his home games, persuaded him to remain in Greensboro, his hometown, for college.
“Guilford College made the recruiting process easy for me,” Pawlowski said. “They promised to work with me as much as possible on the field and off the field as well.”

The Quaker community is looking forward to supporting all of the new athletic recruits and their road to success inside classroom.

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