Player Profiles

Reflections on the Recruiting Process

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Reflections on the Recruiting Process

In the coming days the Firecracker Rico/Weil team will be saying goodbye to eight amazing seniors. These ladies epitomize what it means to compete at the highest level of athletics while excelling in the classroom. We are so proud of all of them and are excited to watch them flourish at the next level of softball and life. Below you will find their comments and individual paths each undertook to reach this significant milestone.

Enough credit and kudos cannot be given to the amazing family support each has received and many thanks to all the coaches, teachers, trainers, and mentors who were influential along this journey. As a team and organization we cannot be more proud.

#26 Lexi Campbell
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Lexi Campbell

High School: Westlake High School

College Commitment: UCSB

Year You Committed: Middle of my senior year

Reasons for Choosing School: Close to the beach, fun atmosphere, beautiful campus, a softball team that offers plenty of opportunity, and academics.

What was your recruiting experience like: Stressful and anxiety-inducing but ultimately worth it in the end.

Recommendations for other players: Don’t put all your trust into one program without building a good relationship with the coaches first.

#16 Alyssa Garcia

Alyssa Garcia

High School: Mater Dei Catholic High School

College Commitment: UCLA

Year You Committed: I verbally committed the fall of my freshman year (2015).

Reasons for Choosing School: I loved the idea of being close to home and being able to be a part of such a successful program. I felt at home when I first stepped onto the campus and I knew I could see myself with the four letters across my chest.  

What was your recruiting experience like: My overall recruiting experience was an exciting time. My mental aspect of the game grew tremendously helping me gain confidence in myself. Playing in front of a variety of college coaches that I was interested in helped me play in pressure situations and show off what I have worked so hard for all these years.

Recommendations for other players: I recommend to just have fun! I know it is a generic statement and said by every known athlete, but it is true. If you aren’t having fun, then it shows in the way you play. Every day is a blessing by God so take advantage of the skills he gave you! Also, know there is ALWAYS someone watching you, whether you are hitting home runs or sitting on the bench, every positive little thing goes a long way. Take advantage of every opportunity that is given, never give up, and the two things that you can control are your attitude and your effort.

 

#72 Madison Jacobus
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Madi Jacobus

High School: Bishop Montgomery

College Commitment: Utah

Year You Committed: Summer going into my sophomore year (June 23, 2016)

Reasons for Choosing School: Right when I stepped on campus it felt like home. After taking my unofficial visit, I fell in love with the coaches, the diversity, and the overall atmosphere of the school. I knew this was the school for me.

What was your recruiting experience like: My recruiting experience started really early for me. I began going on visits when I was in the 7th and 8th grade. At that age the whole process was very stressful and a little bit overwhelming. With that being said I think that it helped me grow and mature earlier than some of my peers. Although it was stressful, I enjoyed every second of the experience.

Recommendations for other players: It is your choice. At the end of the day, YOU are going to be the one attending whatever school you decide to commit to. Not your friends and not your parents. Make sure that it is the school for you and it is one that makes you happy. Enjoy the process and don’t take this experience for granted. Life will get stressful at times, but this will help you in the long run. When you are out on the field and there are college coaches watching you, don’t freak out. Stay true to your game, don’t change, and always remember to have fun.

#22 Julia Jimenez
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Julia Jimenez

High School: Etiwanda

College Commitment: University of Michigan

Year You Committed: Going into freshman year

Reasons for Choosing School: I chose this school because it is the best University in the world. Amazing coaching staff and awesome facilities

What was your recruiting experience like: My recruiting process went very smooth. I had lots of help from my coaches and after my offers I had to choose the best fit for me.

Recommendations for other players: If people say you can’t, you can. You just have to work hard because it is all worth it in the end. Make people proud and make yourself proud.

#44 Sara Ladd
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Sarah Ladd

High School: Los Alamitos

College Commitment: Michigan State

Year You Committed: I verbally committed September of freshman year.

Reasons for Choosing School: I chose Michigan State because of the beautiful campus, the abundance of majors, it being a big sports school, and being able to play on the field with my sister.

What was your recruiting experience like: Because of me committing freshman year, I didn’t have to do any of the camps; but I do remember the exhilarating feeling of coaches watching me and my coaches saying what schools were interested in me.

Recommendations for other players: Playing softball is supposed to be fun and not just about which person is going to what school. It’s the competition that should drive you. So my advice to future players is to just have fun playing and make lifelong friends. Also, don’t get ahead of yourself in the games; focus on one pitch at a time and don’t hold on to the past.

#43 Alexis Laudenslager
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Alexis Laudenslager

High School: Scripps Ranch

College Commitment: Princeton

Year You Committed: July 2018, the summer before my senior year.

Reasons for Choosing School: Princeton is a school where I can compete for a championship every season, as well as receive an education that will prepare me to make a global impact.

What was your recruiting experience like: Recruiting was a difficult process for me. Before the rule change, when girls were committing at extremely young ages, it was stressful to hold out for schools that could offer me the education I wanted.

Recommendations for other players: This game is about the process, not the result. You have to trust that if you continue to work hard, compete, and get better every day, you will end up in the place that is right for you.

#42 Jaelyn Operana

Jaelyn Operana

High School: Edison High School

College Commitment: N/A

Year You Committed: N/A

Reasons for Choosing School: N/A

What was your recruiting experience like: It was very challenging at times but it’s entirely worth it to grind it out to find a school to call home away from home.

Recommendations for other players: Keep grinding it out and keep the game fun. Don’t let other people take the fun away from the game. There are two things you can control: attitude and effort. So keep a good attitude and give all the effort you can.

#2 Serena Starks
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Serena Starks

High School: Edison High School

College Commitment: Princeton

Year You Committed: July 11, 2017

Reasons for Choosing School: Amazing academics and a great softball team. Set me up for life.

What was your recruiting experience like: My overall recruiting experience was rewarding yet stressful. It made me realize that recruiting is about more than just how I perform on the field, but how I act as a person and in the classroom.

Recommendations for other players: I would recommend to players going through the recruiting process to focus on softball but also on school as well. It is so much easier for a coach to recruit you if you have better grades because it boosts the team GPA. On top of that, ask questions!! If you aren’t sure of how the recruiting process works or need someone to look over an email you are going to send, don’t be afraid to ask a parent or coach because you can’t get through this alone.