Whitefield Academy Blog
Why We Kept Our Athlete at a Small Christian School
As parents, we are always trying to do what is best for our kids. We agonize over decisions as simple as what they are eating for breakfast to what school they will attend and how it will prepare them for the next step in their academic career. This was where we found ourselves four years ago as we were deciding whether our premier high school athlete should remain in a small Christian School. A school that wouldn’t send him to a state championship or have him written up in the Kansas City Star with accolades of his athletic talent. And to further complicate our decision, our athlete’s dream was to play in college.
A Christian School
We came to Whitefield Academy when our first child was in middle school, in need of a smaller environment that cared for her on more than just the academic front. We were in search of a faith-based school that would see her whole person: her heart, her mind, her academic abilities. In Whitefield we found a unique opportunity of a challenging classical Christian education, but more importantly, we found a community of educators who cared deeply for our child at every level. We fell in love with the school. So in turn, our other children followed suit.
A Decision to Make
As our second child approached his high school years, years that would be imperative to the college recruiting process, we sought counsel from coaches, fellow premier club sport parents, and college scouts as to whether or not we should move our son to a bigger school. The opinions were as numerous as they were varied. One thing was obvious, however, the answer wasn’t clear. So being an ex-number cruncher, I went to the numbers and here is what I found:
- Per the NCAA website, “Slightly over 7% of high school athletes went on to play in college, and less than 2% of high school athletes went on to play at NCAA Division 1 schools.”
- To put this in perspective, there are 8 million high school athletes. Only 480,000 will play in the NCAA. There will be another approximately 65,000 at NAIA schools.
- The average athletic scholarships are $16,186 (NCAA D1); $6,012 (NCAA D2), $6,786 (NAIA), $1,438 (Community College). These scholarship numbers are significantly lower than many academic scholarships. Read this: Invest in an ACT tutor!
- Of the 172,472 NCAA student athletes participating in a sport that has a professional draft, 1,210 are actually drafted, representing .007% of NCAA athletes.
These numbers were incredibly helpful because suddenly the question became not “Where should he go for sports?” but “What do we want him to gain from participating in a high school team?”
What’s The Point?
For us, the answer was glorifying God in what he does and how he acts as an athlete, the camaraderie of a team, the leadership opportunities, and a continued love of the sport. This leveled the playing field, so to speak, and made Whitefield the stand out choice.
We don’t regret our decision. He didn’t go to a state championship, but our Lions went undefeated in his senior year in league play, won back to back league championships, and won the league championship 4 out of 5 years he was a varsity player. He had the opportunity to be a captain. He had a coach who mentored him into being the best man he could be not just the best athlete he could be. And ultimately, he has also been recruited by many of the same schools and programs as his fellow club players who attended state championship winning schools.
Most importantly, he has learned that to be an athlete takes discipline, commitment, and a passion for the sport no matter where you play. In the end, it’s not what you can do on the field, it is who you are on and off the field and who you give the glory to that makes you a champion.
He will be continuing his academic and athletic career at a NCAA D2 school, and we couldn’t be more proud.