By Madeline Master
Although every young high school athlete aspires to have a varsity letter patched onto their beloved varsity jacket, is playing a varsity sport in high school as important to their goals in the long run as playing on a travel or club team?
Today, college recruits for many sports do not pay much attention to high school teams, as they are not as competitive as travel teams. Travel teams have a much longer season which allows college coaches a greater chance to watch potential players perform.
Junior hockey player and future Mercyhurst College Laker Morgan Stacey explained, “Travel sports are the epicenter of talent. The teams are composed of the best playing the best. This is a great opportunity for scouts to see players being pushed to their max.”
Most travel teams require much more time and effort than high school teams do because of the extensive hours devoted to practice, games, and tournaments. This shows college coaches hard work, determination, and the desire to play at the next level.
“It [travel teams] really helps with exposure as well as showing that you have dedication to the sport. It is also very important to play year-round to keep your skills up,” said junior Rachel Eisenhour who plays for Instant Replay Volleyball Club.
College coaches know that travel/club tournaments are the place to go to find the top players to complete their intense rosters.
“Furthermore, travel sports often go to more showcases and tournaments that are specifically geared for college exposure, opposed to high school sports which seem to be geared more toward city rivalries and state championships,” Stacey added.
Travel teams are the best choice when it comes to playing at the next level. If you are considering collegiate athletics, you should look into trying out for your local travel team. You never know, the opportunities that could come from playing at the higher level.