The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Local players’ college careers detoured by pandemic

Kaeden Wray Staff Reporter Dec 03, 2020

The new surge of COVID-19 cases has kicked local high schoolers’ chances to get scholarships for next season.

It has affected a lot of local club teams, with coaches or scouts not being able to watch prospects play.

“First and foremost COVID has affected many people throughout the world, including myself and in this case the recruiting aspect is difficult at this time,” said Amir Husnic, currently playing in a high-level club league.

“Tournaments have been cancelled and games have been limited so coaches/scouts cannot come and see me play due to the global pandemic,” said Husnic, a Burien resident.

“The tournaments are huge opportunities to showcase your talent and it is a big problem not playing any league games at all,” said Marcos Figueroa, a SeaTac resident who plays for O’Dea High School.

Players are having to rely on film to get offers or scouted.

“COVID has affected my recruiting in many ways,” said another club player, Katelyn Sok.

“One big reason it has affected my recruiting process is not getting enough college exposure. Due to this, I have to rely on previous game films, then make a highlight video, and email it to coaches,” she said.

“It is also hard for coaches to go through the many emails they receive every day,” she added. “They might not even open my email to watch my highlight video.”

One player has verbally committed to NCAA Division II soccer because the NCAA Division I is less unlikely to offer any scholarships right now.

“I have verbally committed to play D2 for only my freshman year in North Carolina for playing time purposes and since the D1 schools are in a giant mess with recruiting,” said Marcos Figueroa,

Fifth-year college seniors are affecting offers for high schoolers’ trying to get scouted.

“It is challenging because with the college seniors taking an extra fifth-year to play college soccer, it limits room for incoming freshmen on the team roster. I know this because it happened to me with a college this year,” said Katelyn Sok, who lives in Auburn.

Because of the pandemic, the NCAA has awarded players in all sports an extra year of eligibility. Players who might otherwise be graduating can decide to come back and play again next year.

“I was planning on committing to a college but the coach notified me saying I can’t because the seniors are taking the fifth-year option in which the seniors took my spot on the roster,” said SOK.

Some players will not commit to an NCAA college.

“Personally, I have not been affected much as I will be playing community college soccer and will later transfer,” said Sergio Chavez of SeaTac, who plays for a high-level club team.

Some players might take a year off due to COVID.

“As of right now I’m torn between taking a gap year and not because if I were to take a gap year there would be more opportunities to get offered a scholarship and seen from coaches, but if I didn’t then this would be my last year at club level,” Husnic said.