FEATURE – Every year, more than 15 million athletes from over 30,000 high schools across the country will participate in sports. Most dream about playing in college, but only five percent actually will.
Thanks to Findlay Automotive, many more athletes in the St. George area will now be among that five percent. Findlay has teamed up with Cherry Creek Radio, Baja Broadband and Comcast Spotlight in bringing Athletic Quest to Southern Utah. Athletic Quest is a program developed by a group of current and former college coaches that scout, evaluate and work with high school athletes to help them attain scholarships. All of the athletes in the program have received multiple college recruitment opportunities.
“The reason this program is so successful is that it teaches high school kids how to be better students, how to get better grades, how to raise their ACT scores and how to communicate with colleges,” said Rick Berry, marketing director at Findlay Automotive.
Berry is also the defensive coordinator for Dixie High School’s football team and said that high schools in this area are excited about implementing the program this fall, which includes a class that the students take for one semester and is open to sophomore, junior and senior students.
“There are many outstanding athletes out there. What separates those who get athletic scholarships from those who don’t is not only their talent, it’s their grades,” he said.
Athletic Quest not only teaches student-athletes these academic fundamentals, but the system was also designed to help prepare them for their school of choice and match them with other potential schools based on their GPA, SAT/ACT scores and athletic skill level. The program assists students in placing calls and applications, then following up with coaches, thereby maximizing their opportunity to receive scholarship options, whether it’s for baseball, track, cheerleading, rodeo or bowling.
“Many smaller schools don’t have the budget to go out actively recruiting; they can’t always come find you. You have to find them,” Berry said.
“My son knew that he wanted to play college lacrosse, but had no clue where to start the process. Within a week of talking with Athletic Quest, he started to get responses from college coaches. Within a month, he was so inundated with calls that he was not sure how to narrow the search,” said Debbie Hemingway, mother of former West Jordan High School and now Howard College student-athlete Reagan Bushnell. “Once again, Athletic Quest was right there to give him the guidance he needed. He will now be playing lacrosse in college. I know my son has learned a lot of things from this process that will help him to be a successful college student-athlete and adult.”
“There is no question that the Athletic Quest system opens more doors for any high school athlete preparing to play college athletics,” said Kim Zollinger, a Fort Hayes State University student and NCAA Division II volleyball athlete. “More importantly, it opened my eyes to the dozens of additional college opportunities that I never would have known about.”
“Athletic Quest gives those who may have never gone to college because they couldn’t afford it, or others who know they want to go but are not sure how they will pay for it, a foot in the door,” Berry said.
Athletic Quest gives high school athletes every opportunity they deserve to succeed. It not only assists students in securing athletic scholarships, but it prepares them for success in academics and in life. If you have questions about Athletic Quest, ask your local high school principal, a guidance counselor or contact Berry at 435-688-7272.
Written by Terrin Parker for St. George Health and Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Parker is the associate editor of St. George Health and Wellness and a physical therapist from Cedar City. She graduated from Loma Linda University in California and has lived in Denver, San Diego and St. George. She loves to surf, snowboard, write, travel, play the guitar and spend time with her husband and their young son.
Email: [email protected]
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