Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Varsity teams make efforts to attract prospective students

Credit: Markel Uriu

It’s April. That means hundreds of high school seniors are contemplating whether or not Whitman is the right place to spend their next four years. Because most decisions are due May 1, a very high number of prospective students visit during April to decide if they want to come to Whitman.

A portion of these “prospies” will also be looking into participating in athletics at Whitman. In order to convince recruits and prospies to bring their talent to Whitman, coaches and current athletes work hard to make visits special.

Women’s tennis head coach John Hein likes to use his team’s small size to make each visit unique.

“Our team is small enough that we try as much as possible to personalize each visit,” Hein said.

Most coaches make it a priority to individually meet with all prospective students who say that they are interested in playing that particular sport. Besides meeting with the coach, many athletic prospies are turned over to the hands of a current team member, usually a first-year.

“I meet with each prospie and set up a meal with the team; beyond that some are given over to the team and some I spend more time scheduling their time,” Hein said.

According to men’s basketball assistant coach Matt Airy, many of the prospective athletes do have very full schedules when they visit.

“Typically, recruited prospective students who visit campus have very full schedules,” Airy said. “They will usually sit-in on one or two classes, tour campus, and have admissions interviews in the morning, then will eat at one of the dining halls for lunch. Usually, this is their first contact with their student host, as well as other team members.”

Once in the hands of another athlete, prospies will often spend time getting to know the team, seeing the campus, visiting classes, and seeing Walla Walla.

Sophomore swimmer Adam Brayton often hosts prospies and always tries to keep them entertained.

“I try to have activities to do. I actively look out for things to do like Outhouse Unplugged. I even took one prospie bowling with my former core class,” Brayton said. “I also always make sure there is a group of swimmers available for lunch with the prospie so that he can meet the team.”

Brayton attributes his passion for hosting prospies to his own experience as a prospective swimmer.

“It was so fun; it was the reason I came. Chilling out with the swim team made me want to be a part of the team,” Brayton said. “The reason I am so enthusiastic about hosting prospies is because I want to share that experience with them.”

Airy also believes that it is crucial to give prospective students a true feel of the Whitman campus.

“We want to make sure our visitors have a chance to get a feel for the what it is like to be both a student and an athlete at Whitman,” Airy said. “Whitman is a unique and amazing place, but it is not the best fit for every prospective student, so in scheduling visits, we strive to provide prospective students with the best possible feel for what we are — and what we are not — so that they have enough information to decide whether or not Whitman is the right fit.”

On days with a particularly high number of prospective students on campus — such as Spring Visitors’ Day on April 8 and Admitted Students’ Day on April 16 — the athletic department hosts a panel of current student-athletes to answer common questions prospies have concerning athletics at Whitman.

Varsity teams and the athletic department work very hard in order to show prospective students why Whitman is the right place to spend four-years studying and playing sports.

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