McCracken County baseball

McCracken County’s Edward Jones Field is shown before the district matchup between Paducah Tilghman and the Mustangs on May 5, 2021.

For high school student-athletes, the beginning of September means more than just the changing colors of leaves and the crispness of fall.

Instead, the early days of the month are a sign of the future for many student-athletes who have put in countless hours of hard work academically and athletically since childhood.

On September 1, Division I college coaches can communicate with high school juniors via text messages, emails, phone calls, and recruiting materials. In addition, coaches are allowed to return student-athlete calls, emails, and any questions asked beforehand.

“It’s always exciting when a student-athlete has the opportunity to go through the recruiting process,” McCracken County High School Athletic Director Geno Miller told The Sun. “You always tell them to enjoy it because it’s an experience that doesn’t happen to everyone.”

From baseball to fast pitch softball, possible D1 student-athletes have the opportunity to coordinate with their preferred school’s Athletic Director for unofficial college visits to meet with coaches, staffers, and potential future teammates at this time.

For Division II, the day comes a bit earlier than for possible D1 athletes. College coaches begin contacting student-athletes in June after completing their sophomore year, providing information and preparing future athletes in their programs.

There are no restrictions for college programs contacting athletes for Division III, NAIA, and NJCAA levels. While this is beneficial to young athletes pursuing a college career in one of these levels, programs typically wait until the athlete’s junior year in high school to communicate.

As Miller said, the recruiting process is an experience that not every athlete will experience in high school. But, although it might seem stressful and tiresome at times, it is a moment in a young athlete’s life that they will cherish for a lifetime.

Follow Chelsea Ladd on Twitter, @chelseabrooke.

Follow Chelsea Ladd on Twitter, @chelseabrooke.

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