College recruiters beat the bushes in AZ’s high country

If you’re a high school athlete with talent, there’s bound to be a college out there looking for you.

And sometimes they find talent that has been overlooked, even at small schools tucked away in the high country of this state.  A recent article in the Prescott Daily Courier pointed out that more than 20 athletes in the area have found roster spots at a variety of colleges.

Granted, they aren’t always the big-name universities.  And they generally don’t come with full-ride scholarships.

What they do offer is the opportunity to continue playing.

Most often, they have names like Augustana College  in Illinois, George Fox University in Oregon, or the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana.

According to the Courier, those are actually some of the colleges that swooped down on our  schools in the north country this year to fill their rosters in a variety of sports.

And there’s always schools right here at home in Arizona looking for local talent overlooked by the D-I and D-II schools.  Five of the 20 students spotlighted in the Courier article were offered a roster spot at local colleges like Eastern Arizona College in the Thatcher/Safford area, Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Southwestern Christian College in Phoenix,  and Yavapai College, located right there in Prescott.

Four of the graduating seniors from Prescott High School’s state championship girls’ soccer team found opportunities to play at the next level, three of them out of state.

Michelle Andre, one of three team captains and a two-time All-Region selection, will play for Biola University in California; Leah Rogalcheck will take her chances as a walk-on at Fort Lewis College in Colorado; goalkeeper Brianna Williams is headed for Oral Roberts University; and Krista Ryker will play locally at Southwestern Christian College.

Arick Morrell, Prescott High’s state champion in the discus, will be throwing next year for George Fox University; Carli Schiller will be playing softball at Yavapai College; and Paige Ramm, a two-time All-Courier Player of the Year, will be on the basketball court at the University of Colorado-Pueblo next year.

That’s not bad for a school that isn’t exactly a hotbed of recruiting.  It’s more than an hour from either Phoenix or Flagstaff, sitting a mile high in the pines.  It’s scenic and a great place to live or retire, but that doesn’t mean much to college recruiters.  They’re pretty scarce in those parts.

But there are more colleges, and more opportunities out there, than most high school athletes realize.

So what enterprising athlete found the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology?  That would be Dakota Sawyer, a baseball player from Orme High School.

You just have to look a little to find a Rose-Hulman or a George Fox.