By Sue Moore
“It’s always been my dream to play major league baseball,” says Ryan Morgan, a junior at Vicksburg High School. To make this dream a reality, Morgan has played in Little League and travel baseball for many years. He has been on the varsity baseball team the last two years and takes lessons from a trainer who helps to sharpen his skill set.
Athletes younger than Morgan need to start thinking much earlier about how to prepare for college, the next step in competition. It’s too late to prepare for recruiting for those at the junior and senior class level according to Mike Roy, Vicksburg’s athletic director. He has booked Jack Renkens to provide insight into what college recruiters are looking for in an athlete and how to prepare a young person who is a talented athlete to get an education and be recruited for college.
Freshmen along with athletes from all grades in Vicksburg, Schoolcraft, Three Rivers and Mendon have been invited with their parents to attend a seminar on March 14 at 7 p.m. in the Vicksburg High School gym to hear Renkens’ advice. His talk is about the realities of recruiting so there are no unrealistic expectations on the families’ part in what they need to do to qualify for college scholarships.
“It’s good for parents and kids alike to hear Renkens’ message,” Roy says. “It’s blunt, straightforward, and non-biased. These kids need to get in the game early.” Renkens has been an athlete and a successful coach in high school and college. But it was when his own daughter began to be recruited that it dawned on him what the recruiting game was all about. That led to starting a business of teaching young people how to get the edge on recruiting, using bargaining chips they never realized were possible. “His talk will deal with the knowledge that parents and athletes don’t necessarily have, to help them turn the tables on the recruitment process,” Roy says.