BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
To help players and their parents navigate through the recruitment process for college sports, Ormond Beach Soccer Club Director Jeff Allen is taking the initiative.
He will hold the club's first ever recruitment seminar Oct. 17, bringing in expert Siggi Nagele to help players address misconceptions.
“Educating them on the process (is the goal),” Allen said. “There are kids on this club that would be solid Division III or Division II players. And they don’t have any idea of what they need to do to try and get recognized or be proactive in the process.”
Nagele, a former Division II and Olympic Development Program coach, says there are roughly 92,000 high school seniors playing soccer each year, and only about only 5,500 of them, or 6%, will secure a roster spot open to incoming freshman.
Then when you factor in academic and financial elements, he added, the 1-in-20 ratio who successfully transition from high school to college can be even tougher.
Because the Ormond Beach Soccer Club is a competitive group, though, players can gain insight into the recruiting world, says Nik Efremoski, the coach of the U18 team.
Efremoski, who played in college and coaches at Seabreeze High School, said exposure is key, even for some of the club’s best players, like Eimann Moore.
“(Moore) can definitely play DI soccer at a good program,” Efremoski said. “He's a senior this year, playing for Mainland High School. ... He’s had some contact, but no offers yet.”
And for many players, Division I schools may not be the best fit.
“I saw it firsthand as a Division II coach,” Nagele said last week. “(Players) were looking at bigger schools, and then they were devastated because they didn't get scholarships.”
While coaching at Eckerd College, a Division II school in St. Petersburg, Nagele said one of his best players was a transfer from the University of Florida. She realized she was never going to see the field at that level, he added, and was better suited for Division II ball.
There are also misconceptions about the best way to get the attention of college coaches, Allen said. Sending film of a player having a great game against weak competition, for example, isn’t productive, he said. College coaches want to see players competing against the best competition available.
Allen's recruiting seminar is an important step in the club’s development, he added. It's something he's wanted to do since starting with the club a few years ago, but this is the first time there have been enough promising players in the group to make it work.
The seminar is also open to players at area high schools and other soccer clubs.