Signing day celebrates athletes’ commitment to their sports

Fourteen student-athletes sign collegiate careers into reality


Sally Hudspeth

Class of 2022 student-athletes gather on signing day.

by Ambyr Baker, Sports Editor

Signing day is widely regarded as a distant ambition for young, aspiring athletes. However, on April 6, a record number of 14 student-athletes put pen to paper to sign their careers into reality.

Assistant Director of Athletics Jennifer Johnson said being recruited for any sport is no simple task.

“Collegiate athletics is challenging as you have teams made up of the very best athletes,” Johnson said. “It’s exciting for a student-athlete to put in all the hard work at the middle school and high school level and have it earn them a spot at the collegiate level.”

In Johnson’s words, being recruited means building a relationship with collegiate coaching staff to play a sport. She is proud that several students in the 2022 class will reach this level.

“This recruiting class displayed a wide variety of sports. We had volleyball, swimming, tennis, rowing, lacrosse, soccer, and golf,” Johnson said. “It has also been one of our largest celebrations since I have been at Hockaday.”

Due to the pandemic, Wesleyan University tennis commit Sarah Youngberg and others had to navigate the virtual recruitment process.

“While I was doing well in my recruiting class and my trends revealed that playing in college was a possibility, Covid made the process 10x more brutal,” Youngberg said. “It  was terrible.”

For Minje Kwun, Dartmouth College lacrosse commit, coaches became instrumental in moving along her committing process.

“Coach Molly made recruiting possible for me during such an uncertain time,” Kwun said. “Without the guidance of her and Coach Maggie at GRIT Lacrosse, I would not have gotten recruited.”

Similarly, Jordan Stock, Stanford University lightweight rowing commit, said her coach was instrumental to her recruitment. Stock added pursuing her dream of competing at the next level required hard work behind the scenes.

“I did a lot on my own to get recruited,” Stock said. “Coach Forteith did some of the heavy work for me by talking with coaches, but the daily training throughout was all my own.”

Thus, Stock felt the real reward came before signing the National Letter of Intent.

“Signing day honestly wasn’t the day I felt like I did it,” Stock said. “The day that Stanford offered me and I accepted, I was over the moon. I’m so excited to compete at the next level.”

Johnson agreed students put a lot of work into their recruitment before they sign. Even more of that hard work will start in August of their freshman year of college.

“These students are dedicating themselves to play their sport at a high level,” Johnson said. “In a lot of ways, collegiate athletics is a full-time job because you have hours of practice, strength and conditioning, film review, any rehab for injuries, the list goes on. This is all on top of keeping up with your academics.”

Youngberg described her biggest challenge as choosing the right educational fit. She wants to be able to balance tennis with her academics.

“When you go to a school like Hockaday, you start to value academics,” Youngberg said. “So I know wherever I go, I am a student first and an athlete second.”

Youngberg said she looks forward to taking the next step.

“I’m really happy where I committed because I like the team and the coach,” she said. “I’m also excited to be able to pursue any academic dreams that I want and play at the next level.”