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The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

The Cord News

The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

The Cord News

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Athletes Taking It To The Next Level What Are The Chances and Challenges?

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash
The NCAA says that scholarships for athletics are not only available in high school but in college as well, with around 180,000 student athletes getting this opportunity.

Sweat drips, heartbeat rises, and intensity climbs higher and higher until you feel as if you have reached the very top. Being an athlete in high school requires hard work, long days, and dedication, especially if taking it to the college level is in mind. 

CHSAA (Colorado High School Activities Association) states that athletic scholarships are only given out to 3.4 percent of high school students in Colorado. To think that out of 100 people only about three would get the scholarship that they applied for is an astonishing number. 

A small percentage of high school students apply for scholarships, let alone get those scholarships. This year at Dakota Ridge High School (DRHS), seven seniors signed for their sports, but why so few? Why are only a small number of our athletes getting scouted/recruited?

“We used to have 30 or more coaches come down to look at the students,” DRHS athletic director Matt Heckel said. “Now only 10-12 coaches will come down. It’s hard for students to get drafted because of the transfer portal.”

One of the problems with the college athlete transfer portal is that they skip over the smaller “not athletic” schools. It’s hard for everyone to get exposure when that happens. Where middle schoolers go to high school has a big impact on this as well. If most kids are going to schools such as Chatfield or Columbine, that leaves DRHS with fewer students or fewer chances to build onto the athletic programs we have. 

The chance of a high school student getting an athletic scholarship is a lot lower than it is to get an academic one. The Colorado Department of Higher Education states that 35.6% of Colorado high school students go to college on an academic scholarship.

“It seems like we don’t get a lot of scholarships here,” women’s basketball freshman player Annaliese Bollacker said. “I don’t think we are known as much for athletics because we don’t have big programs which is unfortunate.”

Guiding Future Stars says that colleges look for playing ability and attitude because all that matters when playing higher levels.
(August Phlieger Unsplash)

According to Discovery College Consulting A 2019 survey by TD Ameritrade concluded that 40% of parents were sure that their kids would be getting athletic scholarships, but later found out that only 2% of those high school athletes actually got it, and out of that 2%, about half would not be receiving a full ride. 

Fewer and fewer athletes are pursuing athletics at the collegiate level because the chances are so low, not to mention depending on what school you go to or your level of athletic ability, scouts will pick and choose which players they should watch. This makes it even harder for other athletes to get exposure in the world of recruiters because of the name of their school and/or what that school is known for. 

According to, division l and division ll schools gave out more than 3 million dollars in scholarships in 2017 to over 175,000 high school athletes, which averages to about $17,000 per athlete. This is a large number of players getting scholarships, but the price of college alone is higher than $17,000, leaving the players with much more expense to cover. This leads to the real purpose of playing for colleges: to build character, bring out full potential, and get ready for the professional world. 

With only seven seniors out of 300 who signed to commit for athletic scholarships at DRHS this year, that totals about two percent of their entire class. So is an athletic scholarship worth the time and effort?

“I will play club during the summer,” Bollacker said. “I’m gonna make the most of every practice I go to, and I’m going to focus on improving my skills by form shooting, endurance training, and defensive drills.”

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About the Contributor
Genevieve Pike
Genevieve Pike, Staff Writer
Genevieve is a freshman at DRHS. She loves spending time with friends and family, as well as playing basketball for the school. She is looking forward to getting good grades through high school and can't wait to start reporting for the school's Cord News.

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