Seniors sign to colleges for sports

14 seniors signed and committed to their colleges in annual tradition

Senior athletes celebrated their college commitments on April 26, an annual tradition. Each recruited student signed to their universities clad in college merchandise beside balloons and families. Coaches also gave speeches about their students.
“McLean really made it very special for all the student athletes,” Tursi said. “I loved seeing each coach speak, and it was a really sweet moment for me to have my coach talk about me as an athlete.”
For Xavier Jemison, who committed for track, the speech was special because his father is his coach. Coach Kyle Jemison included not only Xavier’s accomplishments as a runner but also kind remarks about his character and his journey to becoming a Division 1 track runner.
Signing day itself may not be until late April, but for athletes, the process starts much sooner.
“The first step is reaching out to coaches [and] schools you’re interested in—communication is so important,” senior Ava Soong said. “From there, you may meet with a coach, or they might watch you play in a tournament. The process can be different for everyone.”
The recruiting process can also be stressful. Student athletes must prepare for rejection or being completely ignored by coaches and schools.
“In all honesty, the hardest part is the recruiting process and not getting ghosted by a coach,” Senior Xavier Johnson said.
Some athletes have been recruited through their club sport and did not need to play for their high school team. Senior Nathan Nuygen, who committed to the Naval Academy his sophomore year, decided to play for McLean’s varsity tennis team his senior year to give them a chance at a title run.
“Nathan is a high character player,” varsity tennis coach Ryan Abrams said. “I’ve known Nathan since he was a sophomore and he has had a big impact on our team this year.”
Many of these athletes have dedicated their entire lives to perfecting their craft, so the day they receive an offer and commit can be very rewarding.
“I’m so excited to do crew in college, I can’t wait to compete at the next level, and to be surrounded by other rowers who genuinely love the sport. I think it’ll definitely be a big change, but I honestly am excited for every part of it,” senior Sophia Tursi said.
Looking back, students say they will remember their signing day as monumental.
“I’ve been looking forward to signing day for 4 years,” Tursi said. “It was definitely as exciting as I had expected.”