It’s a wonderful accomplishment, but here’s hoping these students will see this as a beginning, rather than the end. So many high school stars sign that college scholarship and fail to realize the work is just beginning.
They’ll have to train and compete harder and more consistently than ever before. Unlike high school, their talent won’t guarantee them lots of playing time.
The school and community may or may not care about them nearly as much as before. At times, playing a college sport will seem like a job, which it rarely did in high school.
Many of the athletes who signed Wednesday won’t make it through four years of eligibility. Some won’t make it past the first year. They’re the ones who signed their scholarship and figured that was that and the hard work was finished. They’re the ones who will be surprised when they’re told to work even harder in college.
But here’s the thing: For the ones who last four years, college athletics can be more rewarding than high school. They’ll work and work, and at the end, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment few others will know.
They won’t just sign a scholarship, put that down on their resume and expect life to get easier. Just signing a scholarship isn’t much compared to that.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.