The process of taking it to the next level


Isabella Oganovich

Isabella Oganovich passing the ball to a teammate. She recieved an offer to be on Indiana University’s rowing team, where she will be attending college next year at the Kelley School of Business.

By Ben Griffin, Reporter

Many athletes dream of taking it to the next level, but the process is not as natural as it seems. The process of being recruited is long, and often very stressful. Whether it’s Division 1 (D1), Division 2 (D2), or Division 3 (D3), Lane athletes are going to be playing at the collegiate level next year, and many are in this process of being recruited.

One of these athletes is Dillon O’Keefe, Div. 953, a varsity lacrosse player. O’Keefe has been a member of the varsity squad since freshman year. However what could be taking him to the next level doesn’t involve a stick but in fact a paddle. In his junior year at Lane, O’Keefe started rowing. He felt inspired to participate in rowing due to one of his former lacrosse friends, who got a D1 scholarship to a school for rowing when he was a lacrosse player.

“I also wanted to stay in shape throughout the year to always perform my best, so I did rowing,” he said.  

It only took two weeks for O’Keefe to get emailed from colleges.

O’Keefe said he has been in direct conversation with Princeton and Colgate and has also been contacted by UCLA and Harvard. Although a few D3 schools are scouting O’Keefe, he has his mind set on Division 1. O’Keefe said that he would rather attend a big school, like Harvard or UCLA, for its educational purposes, than a smaller school for athletic purposes. O’Keefe has not made an official decision yet.

Another student who has received many D3 invites is Isabella Oganovich, Div. 856, a varsity soccer player. Oganovich said that she has received letters and emails from over 100 D2 and D3 schools for soccer.

Similar to O’Keefe, Oganovich was asked to row for a D1 school, the University of Indiana. Oganovich plans to attend Indiana and will be attending the Kelly School of Business, but she is interested in playing club soccer for the school.

Oganovich believes that for her, this is the “best of both worlds,” as in attending her dream school, and playing college soccer.

An athlete who is being recruited by a D1 school is Jaylen Pate, Div. 955.

Pate,a junior on the Lane football team, has received many emails from elite D1 colleges for his play.

Northwestern, Purdue, Mizzou, Illinois, Michigan State and Toledo are among the colleges Pate is picking from.

Being an almost-official D1 recruit, Pate said it is very crucial to have a kind and supportive environment.

Pate said his family has always supported him.

I’ve been glad to have them by my side throughout high school and in this process,” Pate said.

In the recruiting process, some athletes are watched by scouts during games. While O’Keefe doesn’t catch those nervous feelings that the scout’s presence brings sometimes, Oganovich and Pate have both learned to overcome it. Oganovich says she gets a little nervous when people are watching her play. Pate also said that he absolutely feels pressured when being scouted.

In response to the pressure, both athletes stressed that confidence and belief are needed throughout this process, as many athletes don’t make it because of their doubts about themselves.

Recruiting at Lane will continue, and athletes believed that confidence, patience, and a hard work ethic would be a common theme in getting recruited successfully. Oganovich plans to play club soccer and attend Indiana, and looks to improve her game so she can reach the next level.

Pate said that he plans to attend a D1 school, even if he doesn’t get recruited.

“I would still go the D1 school and just try walking on the team at that point because a goal that I have always worked towards was playing at that level, even if it means giving up more money to be there,” Pate said.