Committed: An Inside-Look At The Scouting Process

Soon-to-be college athletes reflect on their commitment to a university and team


Photos by Kelsey Corcoran, Elektra Lowe and Katie Swanson

All three athletes, Kelsey Corcoran, Cole Allen and Tess Roberts, feel as if a weight has been lifted after committing to their respective schools.

Ianne Salvosa, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

Senior Kelsey Corcoran did not see this coming—continuing her athletic career at the first Missouri state university to sponsor lacrosse—when she started playing six years ago. 

“I started because my brother played, and then my dad was like, ‘It’s a good way to get into college,’” Corcoran said. “I did not know how I was going to get here.”

She committed to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph in November 2020, but her journey started long before her signing day. As Liberty does not sponsor a lacrosse team, Corcoran has been dedicated to playing club lacrosse and is currently strengthening her skills with the St. Louis Samurai team. A coach she trained under at a prior club had set her up with information on how to reach out to colleges, so Corcoran took initiative and dove into researching tournament lists, emailing schools that caught her eye. She had narrowed it down to Quincy University and Missouri Western State University; after going on an official visit where she toured the athletic facilities and spoke with the lacrosse coach, she knew her future as an athlete would include wearing a Griffons jersey.

“Missouri Western popped up out of nowhere,” Corcoran said. “And this is the school for me.”

In addition to athletic pursuits, potential commits seek to prioritize their education as well. Senior and wrestling commit Cole Allen made sure to explore Hannibal-LaGrange University’s programs before making his decision.

“Education was one of my first questions that I asked when I was talking to the coach,” Allen said. “He said that everybody on the team is more than set with tutoring and any extra help we would ever need for anything in the classroom.” 

You feel like once you commit, you’re scared, another school is gonna come along and you’re gonna want to switch that one.

— Kelsey Corcoran

Allen attributes his commitment to the relationship he has built with the coach ever since he toured the university last summer. He believes that the contact between him and the wrestling program has helped him through the whole college process.

Initial contact between athletes and their future college coaches takes different forms, and with junior Tess Roberts, it started with schools taking notice of her game film online. During her soccer games, her stats are recorded with Trace bands, which are uploaded to the Trace website as well as a video of the game to Youtube. Eventually, Concordia University, St. Paul (Minn.) reached out to Roberts. She verbally committed to the school in February, meaning her commitment to the team isn’t made official until she is accepted her senior year. She feels relieved to have completed the college selection process early.

It’s taken so much stress off of me and it’s nice being able to have other people also come to me and ask for help,” Roberts said. 

This feeling of relief is shared by both Corcoran and Allen, who feel like the pressure has been lifted after they had locked down where they wanted to attend school. However, Corcoran admits some feelings of doubt had arised from time to time.

“You feel like once you commit, you’re scared, another school is gonna come along and you’re gonna want to switch that one,” Corcoran said. But above all those fears, she is hopeful that her college athletic career will make up for the season that the pandemic has taken away from her.

“I lost my senior season with all my best friends,” Corcoran said. “I want to be with my teammates. I want to meet new people.”

Whether it’s making up for lost time or the thought of new experiences, becoming a part of a college team incites a feeling of inspiration among commits, evident in what they are most looking forward to in college. For Allen, it’s a change in atmosphere and competition.

“In high school, you can wrestle kids who have been previous state champions or someone who’s never wrestled before on the same day,” Allen said. “But in college, everyone who you are going to wrestle is there because they were offered.” He views this elevation in the level of competition as motivation, as commits have to consistently produce results to keep their offer.

As for Roberts, she is motivated by the fact that she has the ability to achieve her long term goal of enlisting in the Air Force by first joining the ROTC program at Concordia. She sees her commitment as her personal discovery that she can continue both her education and the sport she’s been playing since she was three. 

“I never knew if I was going to go to college in the first place, nonetheless, even play soccer. I found out the past year that I can do both,” Roberts said. “It kind of made me happier knowing that I don’t have to quit something I’ve been doing my entire life and who made me who I am.”