College Signing


TNU commit Matthew Hock doing what he does best (via Jim Schult)

Joey Bauer

The college recruiting process is rigorous and unforgiving, with less than 2% of high school athletes getting to participate in NCAA sports. Since there’s no abundance of athletic scholarships, a lot of pressure is put on athletes to keep their performance and academics up for college recruiters and coaches. Even verbal commitments can be stressful, because colleges have every right to give that spot away to another player. Through the athletic faces of Kings, it’s evident that signing to a college brings a sense of relaxation.


Matthew Hock, a senior pitcher on the varsity baseball team, has always had a passion for baseball; he says it was his first love and has always stuck with him.


Hock recently committed to Trevecca Nazarene University (TNU) to further his baseball career. Reflecting on this decision, Hock felt that the weight of getting signed was lifted.


“[Signing] is a huge relief,” Hock said. “It was a big stress this summer to get looked at and find the right place for me… But now that it’s over for the time being and the whole college situation has calmed down I can take a step back and enjoy the last year of high school with all of my friends.”


Abby Lodewyck, the starting second baseman of the varsity softball team, shares Hock’s passion. She didn’t expect the excitement she got from softball to last forever but was proven wrong with every succeeding season.


“I really thought playing all my life-literally my whole life-that somehow it would die out, but it never did; it just grew stronger,” Lodewyck said. “I would hate to not continue this.”


Lodewyck participated in Kings’ signing day to commit to Marietta College, continuing her softball career. She described the act of signing as “feeling natural.”


Mary Bonner is Lodewyck’s softball coach and says that Lodewyck’s care and hard work got her to this point.


“Abby brings calm, cool, and consistency to our team. You can count on her to make good decisions,” Bonner said.


Over the years, Coach Bonner has seen the intricacies of the recruiting process. She sees the players that do end up signing being able to relish their final high school season, saying they could just “breathe and play.”


Andy Endress, one of the varsity football assistant coaches, has been helping his players get recruited for 7 years now. He was inspired by his high school experience to let students know their options.


“I played high school football, but I didn’t know the possibilities… I thought that there was no way I could play college football when, realistically, most people can play,” Endress said.


Endress knows how intense the recruiting process can be. This intensity is exemplified with the pressure on athletes to send colleges an attention grabbing and impressive highlight reel. Luckily, Endress helps athletes create them.


“College football coaches have a short attention span,” Endress said. “Your highlight film has to have your top plays first… they make a judgement within the first 30 seconds.”


Endress remembers Jared Dorsa, who graduated from Kings in 2016. Dorsa went on to continue playing football at Ohio University, and Endress noticed a candid change in expression after signing day.


“[Dorsa’s] junior year he was stressful, he was rigid… he was trying to do everything perfectly right because he knew he had to do it junior year to get a D1 offer,” Endress said. “When he got that offer, he was free, he was happy, he goofed around… that was a really good relief for him.”