Most athletes can only dream to play their sport at the college level. It’s a dream that begins at a very young age and continues through their journey to senior year starter. Most seniors, however, come to realize somewhere during the middle of their respective season that the remaining games they have could be the last time they play organized sports. “Its a difficult time for them but also a very fun time,” said Jim Santoro. Santoro has served as the varsity boys basketball coach and director of the boys program at Our Lady of Lourdes High School for the last two decades. He has also helped dozens of athletes all over the county realize their dreams. “You have to have fun playing at the high school level otherwise there is no point,” Santoro added.
That’s because to play sports at the college level is not an easy thing and most will never get there. “People don’t know how difficult it is to play at the Division III level, let alone land an athletic scholarship. And most do not understand the process,” Santoro said. Santoro works with Juniors, seniors, and their parents through the complicated recruiting and exposure process. “It’s grueling. You must have talent, character, academic credentials, motivation, exposure, good timing, and a little bit of luck,” he said. “And even if you have all of these and work your tail off, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will get to the next level.” BUT, if you don’t work hard, do not do your research and think that because you have some athletic ability that college coaches will be knocking at your door–then you can just forget it. It won’t happen. Only the elite or “blue-chip” athlete will be pursued by colleges.
The blue chip athletes are rare and don’t need much help. “Most of the athletes in this area are division III candidates at best. And most people have no appreciation for what it takes to even play at that level,” Santoro said. In fact, it is highly likely that the college coach in your own home town has no idea who you are. “That’s what makes the fact that seven Edge athletes playing in college so impressive. These kids did what they had to do…..made all the sacrifices,” he added. Here is who they are:
Matt Covucci – Our Lady of Lourdes High School – Union College DIII (Junior)
Joe Zenz – Our Lady of Lourdes High School – Ithaca College – DIII (Sophomore)
Kyle Bender – Roy C. Ketcham High School – College at Saint Rose – DII (Freshman)
Joe Lombardi – John Jay High School – Dutchess Community College – (Freshman)
Eric Fazio – Our Lady of Lourdes High School – Keene State University – DIII (Freshman)
Mike Khan – Millbrook High School – Western New England College – DIII (Freshman)
Tom Jordan – Our Lady of Lourdes High School – Dutchess Community College (Freshman)
The entire Edge community congratulates these fine young men and wishes them the best of luck!