OHS athletes on their collegiate journey


Photo by Kaitlyn Smitten

Coach Cassidy Chriest (left), Kaycee Coty, senior, (middle), coach Josh Gibbs (right).

Kaitlyn Smitten, Sports Editor

One of the most unique experiences an athlete can get is the ability to play their sport in college. Many student athletes are relieved when they get their first offer, but how did they get from the young child playing their sport in the street to playing in one of the highest levels of athletics one can?

Many student athletes dream of the opportunity to one day play in college or even\ play professionally. The recruiting process itself is very high stakes and can sometimes cause more stress than anything. 

“The hardest part is staying positive and to continue pushing. It is hard to go through the recruiting process because there are so many kids that want to go and play at the next level and there are only so many sports,” said Brevin Czosnyka, senior. 

Czosnyka is a senior football player who is committed to play at Northern Arizona University. Similar to many other athletes, he is excited to play in a new environment against other players with the same passion for the sport. 

“Being able to play football for another four years and getting to meet new people, that’s what I’m most excited for,” Czosnyka said. 

The recruiting process can be heavily competitive, but athletes have to consider many factors when choosing a school. Most players focus on the coaching staff and the program itself in order to make their final decision. 

“The coaching staff really won me over. They are great humans and they know how to get the most out of each player. They can relate to everyone on and off the field,” said Riley Valentine, senior. 

Valentine is a senior softball player who is committed to play for Arizona State University,. Like many other athletes, she has had an amazing amount of support and faith throughout her softball career. 

“My family is always there for me and has helped me grow with the sport. They sacrificed so much for me. I would not be where I am without them,” Valentine said. 

Another factor when choosing a school is location. Many young athletes do not want to be too far from home and hope that schools close to their families give them offers, so that they have the comfort of home nearby.

“They have a great program and one of the best coaching staffs in my opinion. They are also in a good location and I wanted to go to school in California so that worked out great,” said Zach Rama, senior. 

Rama is a senior volleyball player who is committed to continue his volleyball career at the University Of California, Los Angeles. He has also had an amazing support system behind him, including coaches and teammates at OHS. 

“My teammates have really motivated me by letting me see the potential I have and helping me reach that,” Rama said.

Not only is a dedicated coaching staff important in these young athletes’ dreams of playing in college, but so is  a positive environment and teammates who are supportive and encouraging of other athletes’ goals. 

“My mom, she’s been there since the beginning and she’s paid for it all, went with the traveling. She’s always been there in the stands,” said Carson Beck, senior. 

Beck is a senior hockey player who has chosen to further her academic and athletic career at the University of Utah. She has had a very positive and supporting family, which highly benefits athletes in the long run.

“If I could go back I would have started playing more competitively younger, but other than that I am just excited to play at the college level,” Beck said. 

One of the most exhilarating parts of playing a sport is reaching higher competition and getting better and better as games are played. Playing at a high level also means that there are going to be either other players on other teams, or even teammates, who push everyone around them to be better and better. 

“I love to compete and be challenged. There are a lot of great players and I can’t wait to face them,” Valentine said.