For high school athletes, selecting a college where they will continue their careers can be a stressful process.
Having a friend going through the same process is helpful, but it’s even better when the athlete’s best friend is being recruited by the same school.
Central York girls’ soccer rising seniors Maddie Davis and Chloe Carns have been best friends since fifth grade and will continue to be teammates after each committed to play at NCAA Division II Bloomsburg University.
A difficult process: In Carns’ case, the recruiting process was a little different for the 2018 York-Adams Division I first team All-Star forward.
Coaches didn’t get to see her in action since she couldn't play for part of last season because of an injury, so she had to take matters into her own hands.
“You have to email and reach out to the coaches so they know you,” Carns said. “Coaches couldn’t really see me play, and Bloomsburg heard of me and reached out so it made it a lot easier.”
For Davis, the reigning York-Adams Division I Co-Player of the Year, her dream was to play NCAA Division I soccer. She kept pushing to get an offer from a university at college’s highest level, but her desire to stay close to her family limited her options.
After Davis performed well at a tournament, she started getting emails from the Bloomsburg coaches and began to have an interest in the school. The Huskies reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in 2018 and finished the season ranked as the No. 5 team in Division II.
“I was like, ‘OK, it’s two hours from home, and they’re really good, even though it’s not D-I,’” Davis said.
No place like home: Once Davis stepped onto campus, she began to warm up to Bloomsburg. A meeting with the coaches and some players on the team showed her that the program had what she wanted.
“I went there and just the things the coach talked about reminded me so much of my high school team,” Davis said. “He talked a ton about culture. I got to meet a bunch of the players, and it was so cool. It reminded me so much of home, and I felt like I could really fit in there.”
Both players were happy to have the recruiting process over with, and Carns said that once she decided to join the Huskies in 2020, it was a huge relief.
“It was really exciting because then you know you’re done and you’re going there,” Carns said. “It’s really exciting to be playing in college.”
Davis said she took some time to make her final decision, but when she told the coaches she was committing, she knew she had made the right choice. After sending emails to other coaches and not hearing back, Davis was happy to find a school that wanted her to be there and had a place for her to make an impact early in her career.
“I’m excited that I know I have a spot on a team and that they’re really good,” Davis said. “I can compete with everyone there, and I have the potential to play there all four years. That’s exciting.”
Going out on top: With their college decisions made, the teammates and friends can turn their focus to the Panthers’ season. In each of the years the duo's senior class has played, Central York won the league tournament, and they want to be remembered as a group that won all four years of their high school careers.
Central York coach Eric Webb said winning the league tournament isn’t the end goal of the season, but it would be something special for the duo, who have been varsity starters since they were frehsmen.
“Winning it (all) four years is a neat goal that they have the opportunity to achieve,” Webb said. “There’s other teams that have won four years in a row, but there’s not many.”
With their final high school season set to begin, Davis said she and Carns are excited to have the opportunity to continue playing together for another four years at the next level.
“She’s been my best friend since fifth grade, so it’s really cool knowing that she’ll be there with me,” Davis said.
— Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.