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Haslett seniors commit to colleges

Photo: Ashley Dyer

Photo: Ashley Dyer

Story: Conner Heinz, Staff Writer

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Of the approximately 8 million high school student athletes in the United States, only 460,000 of them will compete at the college level. Millions of kids grow up dreaming about competing at the college and pro levels, but of these dreamers only a select few will hold fast to their dream and make it.
Of the student athletes graduating from Haslett this year, 11 will be going on to compete in college.
Senior Blake Roe described his experience of finding the right college as “crazy.” The defensive tackle officially signed to Northern Michigan University after a three-year search including countless visits to different universities and recruiting camps.
“Starting after my freshman year I started going all over the country, trying to figure out which school was best for me,” Roe said. “Fast forward to my junior year, I was still just confused knowing that the time (to decide) was going to come up fast.”
It was at a camp held at Michigan State University that Roe first caught the eye of the NMU coaching staff.
“The (Northern Michigan) defensive line coach came up to me and told me that he believes he could craft me into an amazing player, and that I could play at the next level, beyond college, if that’s something that I’m willing to work for.”
NMU Defensive line coach John Parrella played in the National Football League for 12 years, playing in three Super Bowls before retiring in 2004 with 405 career tackles. Roe said this was a big factor in his decision to commit to NMU.
“If I want to be the best I have to learn from the best,” Roe said.
Another senior athlete, Grant Lemanski, officially committed to Albion College lacrosse on Jan. 31, after a long process of communicating with different coaches and playing in various tournaments throughout the country over the summer.
“It’s a fun process to select colleges, and feel like colleges want you,” Lemanski said of his experience of being recruited by different schools. “You’re constantly getting texts from coaches and also constantly emailing coaches, letting them know which tournaments you’re going to be at and if you can meet up. They’re always asking when you want to get on campus for a visit, all that good stuff,”
The senior was strongly considering several other Division 3 schools in the midwest, including The College of Wooster, Wittenberg University, and Kenyon College.
“It’s kind of stressful to narrow down your choices, but it’s a fun process,” Lemanski said. “Really there were the most advantages with Albion. All of the schools have great lacrosse teams, but Albion was closest to home. It has what I want as far as schooling and I’ve known the Albion coach for five or six years now. It was cool to commit to a coach that I already knew.”
Charley Campbell was only a freshman when colleges started pursuing her to play soccer with them at the next level.
“I started getting recruited my freshman year by Alma, and the current coach at Grand Valley was at Alma,” she said. “When he went to Grand Valley I just went with him. He just came to a bunch of games and said ‘Hey we want you on our team.’”
Campbell was also at the time being recruited by Aquinas, Calvin, Adam State in Colorado and Saginaw Valley before officially signing with Grand Valley. Campbell’s attraction to GVSU started at a young age.
“I went there when I was 11 for ‘Sibs and Kids’ day because my cousin went there and I loved it,” Campbell said.
She said this was only one of several deciding factors, however. “The location is perfect, it’s kind of close to home but not far enough away, their soccer team is a National Champion team, and I’m going into athletic training and they have a great program for that.”
The hard work and dedication has paid off for these seniors, but their journey is far from over. Now their focus is shifted to their future success, both on and off the field, and beyond college.
“I’m really excited to take my game to the next level,” Lemanski said.

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Haslett seniors commit to colleges