Top left to bottom right: seniors Tom Maxwell, Collin Goff, Chuli Serra,
Emery Diemar, Stephanie Wallen, Ryan Bienstock, Violet Martin,
Gabriela Pena, Nick Viana, and Antonio de Macedo
Top left to bottom right: seniors Tom Maxwell, Collin Goff, Chuli Serra, Emery Diemar, Stephanie Wallen, Ryan Bienstock, Violet Martin, Gabriela Pena, Nick Viana, and Antonio de Macedo
Courtesy of Suzanne Kores

The New Recruits

In recent years, Ransom Everglades Athletics has experienced significant success in athletic recruiting. Over the course of their four years at the Upper School, more than half of RE students participate in at least one sport every year. While RE prides itself on academic excellence and prestige, athletics remain a vital part of the school’s community and identity.  

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), only 7% of high school players proceed to play at the collegiate level. However, when you leave out sports with low participation and look at the most popular sports, the numbers drop significantly. For example, according to the NCAA, 1,006,013 high school students participated in football during 2020. However, of those who competed, only 2.9% of players went on to compete at the division one (D1) level. Additionally, in Track and Field, the second most popular sport, a mere 1.9% made it to the D1 level. These statistics highlight the difficult feat that the Class of 2024 athletes overcame who have been recruited to continue their sports at the next level. 

Ransom Everglades Athletics prides itself on building teams internally; the school does not do any form of recruitment, nor does it offer admission on the basis of sports alone. Schools who do not practice this philosophy often find themselves dominating both national rankings and D1 recruiting pools. For example, Montverde Academy, in Orlando, Florida, currently has the number one ranked basketball team in the state. However, they also actively recruit nationwide to assemble top-tier teams. As a result, this year, the team had four players ranked top 15 in the country, all committed to play D1.  

Despite the success of these other programs, I believe that RE’s philosophy proves superior in the long run. While the chances of playing collegiate sports seem daunting, the odds of competing in the pros are much, much worse. In baseball, 0.5% of high school players will be drafted by an MLB team. However, that simply accounts for making it to the minor leagues, not the majors. Only 10% of minor league players play at least a single game in the majors. So, that means only 0.0005% of players will make it to the major leagues. Why is this relevant? In my opinion, with little chance of any student playing professionally, these statistics support RE’s policy of not recruiting. While guaranteeing success through recruitment might give a school immediate prestige, the most valuable life lessons often come from making the most of what you have, rather than constantly seeking something better. 

With all this context in mind, we celebrate the eight seniors who, as of this writing, have secured their spots to play college sports. Chuli Serra ’24 plans to build off of his back-to-back state titles while competing in D1 Track and Field at Wake Forest. Additionally, his teammate Antonio Macedo ’24 will continue his success on the track at the University of Chicago. 

Sailing, a sport in which RE traditionally sends many athletes to the next level, has two teammates planning to compete on the same team in college. Violet Martin ’24 and Emery Diemar ’24 both will sail at Brown University next fall. 

Additionally, Collin Goff ’24 (football and baseball) and Tom Maxwell ’24 (baseball) will play D3 athletics at Hobart College and Bard College, respectively, both within the Liberty League.  

Gabriela Pena ’24 will play basketball at Oberlin College, and Steph Wallen ’24 will play volleyball at the California Insitute of Technology. 

Finally, Ryan Bienstock ’24 will play football at Washington University in St. Louis, and Nick Viana ’24 will compete for the golf team at Denison University.  

To each of the athletes, committing to a big name school and program was not the most important outcome of their high school athletic careers. To Tom Maxwell ’24, the process showed him that “putting in work gets results. Honestly, it just makes me want to work harder and set my goals higher.”  

Similarly, Ryan Bienstock ’24 noted that “having success in the sport that I have devoted so much time and effort into is truly rewarding, knowing that it was all worth it in the end.” Bienstock expressed his appreciation for ”every coach, captain, teammate, and family member who has taught me and believed in me along the way.” 

Collin Goff ‘24 showed particular emotion when discussing his commitment to play baseball and football. “For me, it’s a dream come true. I mean, I’ve been playing baseball since I was four, and I just started football. So, two completely different ends of the spectrum. But, being able to find success in both areas has been the culmination of years of hard work and dedication,” Goff said.  

He added, “I sincerely cannot thank my dad enough. From being a baseball coach, and then athletic director, he has been such an influential figure in my life. All the time he and my mom have put into my development, including the constant late-night talks and car rides, are memories I will forever live with. I would never be where I am without them.” 

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About the Contributor
Nate Kaplan '24, Co-Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor