A step further in athletics and academics

Student athletes explain their scouting processes and recruitment decisions


Senior Itay Rabinovich commits to the University of California Santa Cruz. Photo courtesy of Rabinovich

Tabitha Mendez

College is just a few months away. For some, college provides another way through which students can explore their passions. But for others, college is a way to take their sport and atheltcism to a higher level — through college recruiting.

Athletic recruiting in college refers to the process by which coaches add prospective high school athletes to their roster. Some athletes approach specific coaches, informing them of their interest in playing for the college’s team, while others get approached by coaches themselves. The three athletes below are among the few MVHS seniors who underwent this process and have decided to pursue collegiate athletics in the future.

Evelyn How

Some athletes either get reached out to among a variety of coaches, or some reach out whether it’s through general interest of the athlete or coach in hopes of getting recruited to pursue athletics alongside academics at the next highest level. Like senior Evelyn How who has been a part of the varsity MVHS Track and Field team since freshman year and recently committed to the University of San Francisco’s Division I track team, majoring in kinesiology.

Although How may not have thought about college recruitment till much later, How’s coaches had been thinking about her college options since her freshman season.

Photo courtesy of How, edit by @donsxctf

“Honestly, I didn’t plan [on running in college] but my coach told me he asked me in freshman year if I was interested in running in college and I said that would be really cool,” How said. “So I guess I’ve always been interested but it wasn’t until junior year that I started getting really into it as coaches began contacting me more and more.”

How started contacting potential schools through emails, online questionnaires and through forms sent by coaches of different schools that she would receive during class. At the start of How’s senior year, she was able to narrow her list down to three schools: Occidental College, Pepperdine University and the University of San Francisco.

“It was actually really easy to pick a school because after my unofficial visit to USF I realized how much I loved the team and atmosphere. I knew that was the school that I wanted to go to,” How said. “It was everything I was looking for: a close knit team, the coach was really nice, and we bonded really fast.”

Evelyn How in between her two head coaches, as she officially commits to the University of San Fransisco. Photo courtesy of How.

How believes that this jump to college will be a large transition, but also beneficial as she gets to compete against other athletes with higher-end equipment and greater expectations.

Itay Rabinovich

Senior Itay Rabinovich, soccer was always a part of the picture when looking at his future. When Rabinovich was younger he primarily focused on his potential career as a professional soccer player first but realized any injury could ruin his career and decided to prioritize his education as well.

Similar to How, Rabinovich started sending emails to different coaches to introduce himself. To keep him on track, his father decided to get a manager to aid in this process. Rabinovich then worked with his manager to help format emails, make lists and keep track of the schools that were interested.

Photo courtesy of Rabinovich

Rabinovich is excited to be playing men’s’ Division III soccer at the University of California Santa Cruz in the fall, while also majoring in business management economics and minoring in sports psychology. He was originally scouted by the UCSC coach while playing at the University of California San Diego camp.

“At first, Santa Cruz wasn’t very high on my radar, but they brought me in for an official visit,” Rabinovich said. “I got to go to classes with a couple of guys, eat lunch with the coaches and get a tour of the school. That is when I really fell in love with the campus and their program and everything, so after the tour it became a really obvious choice.

Since Rabinovich currently plays for the De Anza Force Academy team, he believes the jump to college soccer won’t be too difficult because Rabinovich is already used to the traveling, professional environments and training that is expected at higher levels.

Jessica Ji

For senior Jessica Ji, recruitment was a possibility, yet not a priority. Ji was told by her Track and Field coach sophomore year that she had the potential to jump at Division III schools.

“It was never a mindset of oh, I’m going to somewhere for track, because Division III isn’t much,“ Ji said. “It was more ‘here’s a list of schools I’m applying to and from that list here is a list of schools I could continue track at.’ Track was not the main determinant; it was mainly my education, the school culture, how much the school was and all those other factors.”

Throughout high school, Ji emailed coaches at potential schools so when the admission process began, coaches would already have an idea of who she was. Like How and Rabinovich, Ji started filling out forms, sending statistics, videos, and anything else that might come in handy for a potential recruitment, listening to her coaches recommendations. At the start of senior year, Ji had narrowed Carnegie Mellon University as the one school she would continue track and field at, if given the possibility.

Ji competes in high jump at the St. Francis invitaional. Photo courtesy of Ji

“There’s a lot of Monta Vista Alumni that go to run or jump at CMU; and my head coach knows they’re head coach; they’re really tight,” Ji said. “ My coach said ‘oh they’re a good team you should really consider it and they also have a really good business school’ which is ultimately why I applied there.”

In the end, despite being accepted to CMU for track and field, Ji has decided to attend University of California Berkeley as a pre business major. Ji wanted education to be a top priority, in the environment she felt best in. Since Ji is a multi sport athlete, participating in both basketball and track and field, Ji considers taking up intramural basketball in college as a possibility.

“The main thing is keeping in touch and establishing a connection with the coach at the beginning as opposed of contacting them right as soon as admissions starts,” Ji said. “It’s about getting yourself familiar rather than rushing in as soon as the door’s open.”