Sports at Williams, Amherst and Wesleyan

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Sports at Williams, Amherst and Wesleyan
By Chancesare (Chancesare) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 01:12 pm: Edit

In regard to the athletic programs at DIII schools such as Williams, Amherst and Wesleyan, how are the varsity teams assembled? My son is a talented athlete in soccer and track as well as a good student ( 97 GPA, 1400 SAT's, 700's SAT II's,) & lots of AP courses and community service. He has also earned first team all league honors in both sports in the metro NY area in his junior year with a good chance of All-County honors for this coming soccer season. Do these schools already have their chosen athletes on the radar for incoming class for fall 2005? Is it the responsibilty of the high school coach to conatct these schools and express interest or is it up to the student athlete to pursue these DIII programs. Please advise. Thank you.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 01:16 pm: Edit

Check out the sports web sites of these schools and see how your son compares.
Contact the coaches by e-mail.
Follow the NCAA rules when considering more contact.
Be proactive. Don't rely on a coach. It is your son's responsiblilty.

By Driver (Driver) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 01:29 pm: Edit

NESCAC rules state that coaches at the schools you name aren't supposed to recruit off campus....meaning that your son should make first contact. Once he does that, he can expect to be wooed, I'm sure. Williams' teams have contact forms to be filled out on the athletic web site...I'm sure the others do too.

By Jrpar (Jrpar) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 01:30 pm: Edit

For soccer, your son should contact the coaches, and stop by to talk to the coach while he is visiting/touring the school. On the Williams website, there is a form you can fill out indicating that you are interested in playing a particular sport. Go to News, then Sports Information, then the particular team. The form asks for basic academic info, and info about position played, stats, etc.

For track, most schools post times for previous years teams, so you could check whether or not your son is in the ballpark to be on the college teams. If so, contact the coaches.

By Chancesare (Chancesare) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:08 pm: Edit

Thanks very much everyone. We are proceeding with all the suggestions. It seems that when your kid is a good student athlete, but not quite good enough for offers from DI programs, that the sports are of greater value when trying to get into one of the top LAC's (DIII programs), than to let's say an Ivy where you are not being recruited. Any thoughts. Thanks

By Dstark (Dstark) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 03:38 pm: Edit

You have a better chance of being recruited if you are playing down.
Scroll down to articles free.
on lessons learned about college football recruiting

By Pafather (Pafather) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:26 pm: Edit

If your son is all-county in soccer for large schools in the NY region, then I would expect him to have a great chance in starting for a Division III soccer team. My son was considering attending Gordon College in Massachusetts, and we went to watch their NCAA playoff game against Muhlenberg (ranked between 25 and 30th, according to the NCAA-Adidas national Division III rankings). My son was only honorable mention all league in western suburbs of Philadelphia, but after watching the two teams it was clear that my son could definitely have started as a midfielder for either team. I do not know how much better the #10 ranked team (Williams, last year)is compared to #25 or so (Muhlenberg) that we saw, but these two teams would certainly have lost badly to my son's AAA state championship high school team or any one of the top ten U-17 club teams in eastern Pennsylvania. My son ended up going to USC, where he may play club soccer for fun.

I do not know the details of how the teams are assembled, except I recall on many college athletic web sites, you can simply fill in a recruiting form that says you are interested. If your son wants to play soccer for one of those schools and he is an all county player, thne I would suspect that he could contact the coach at anytime to get a tryout. However, since soccer is a fall sport, they might start training in August.

By the way, I checked the Williams web site, and their soccer coach apparently takes the upper class members on a European tour every four years or so. I certainly am not denigrating the level of soccer. It was actually about right for my son, and he would have had a lot of fun playing there. He has excellent soccer skills, but doesn't have the speed to play at the Division I level.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:29 pm: Edit

Pafather, did your son also play club soccer or ODP?

By Pafather (Pafather) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 06:59 am: Edit


My son only played club soccer through 9th grade. We moved to Pennsylvania from Arizona just before he started 10th grade. He played high school soccer and then broke his foot the day after his last high school game in 10th grade, and it took months to heal so he missed that entire year of club soccer. Then he got involved in so many other activities that he never got involved in club soccer again. He also worked some as a soccer referee. I think he was the only starter on his high school team who was not on a club team though.

I do have a pretty good idea of the level of club soccer in our area. My younger son plays on FC Delco, which is considered to be one of the top boys soccer clubs in the US. My sons understand genetics (i.e. I was a fairly good athlete but definitely limited by raw speed, and they have inherited this), and neither intended to try to play soccer at Division I level in college. Fortunately, my older son received a full-tuition academic scholarship, and we would certainly prefer for my younger son to emphasize academics over athletics as well. Nevertheless, a Division III soccer program may be a lot of FUN, a great outlet for energy, and a good way to build friendships and contacts in college. I recently came across info that a former FC Delco player is now on the soccer team of Harvard Business School, and they play in a league against other top business schools. I don't think soccer is ever going to replace golf among the MBA set, but who knows?

By Dstark (Dstark) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:52 am: Edit

Pafather, my son quit club soccer in the 9th grade.
He wanted to do other things and the club soccer commitment was preventing him from doing this. He is in tenth grade now.
There are older kids playing division three soccer from his area that aren't as talented, but they have played club and high school soccer all through their high school years.
I was hoping that my son would still have a chance to play in college.
I have always stressed academics (not that he listens).
You are one injury away from never playing again.
How many kids form your oldest son's high school team are playing in college? How many wanted to?

By Pafather (Pafather) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 03:21 pm: Edit


I think of the 8 or 9 graduating seniors from last year, probably about 5 of them are playing college soccer (two at Division I, two at Division II, one at Division III). Sadly, the most talented of all (national ODP pool player, high school All-American) is not -- because he didn't keep his grades and test scores up. He had full athletic scholarship offers from some top Division I soccer schools but did not qualify academically. By the way, athletic scholarships for soccer are extremely difficult to obtain, especially for a full scholarship. By NCAA rules, each college is only allowed to offer something like 12 full scholarships. This obviously averages out to about 3 scholarships per year, and I am told that they are typically allocated by offering a larger number of students a fractional scholarship, like a 1/4 tuition scholarship. This is what I hear from an administrator at FC Delco.

If your son is just interested in PLAYING soccer but not necessarily starting, then I would think as long as he stays physically fit, he would have a pretty good chance to be able to make a Division III team, at least enough to practice with them. When I was a grad student at MIT, I was in charge of a floor of students in an undergraduate dorm for a few years. At MIT, very few students are CUT from teams. If you are willing to go out for the team and commit to the time required for practice, etc., you will typically be allowed to practice with the team. Obviously your playing time will be dependent on how good you are. MIT was ranked in the top ten nationally last year in Division III soccer. My impression was that MIT has an extremely high participation rate in intramural and varsity sports, and the students have very good attitudes of not overemphasizing sports. I do not know if this is typical of Division III programs.

By Dstark (Dstark) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 05:16 pm: Edit

Pafather, thanks for the info.
When is USC going to have a division 1 soccer team?
Youth soccer is huge in that area.
I can't believe they don't have a team.

By Pafather (Pafather) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:19 am: Edit


Probably never. Due to Title IX, many large colleges and universities have a womens' soccer team but no mens team.

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