Wolf Pack coaches recruit virtually

Wolf+Pack+head+cross+country+coach+Geoff+Masanet+checks+his+phone+at+practice.+Loyola+coaches+have+had+to+recruit+entirely+virtually+this+year.+Photo+credit%3A+Jae+Schifano

Wolf Pack head cross country coach Geoff Masanet checks his phone at practice. Loyola coaches have had to recruit entirely virtually this year. Photo credit: Jae Schifano

Jae Schifano

With COVID-19 safety precautions in place, many high schools are not playing sports. In the past, Loyola’s coaches would have spent their time between practices and games attending high school sporting events across the country to scout their next class of student athletes, but now they’ve had to do most of their recruiting from behind a computer screen.

Fortunately for the Wolf Pack’s coaches, the recruiting process doesn’t start with a prospect’s senior season.

“We already have some targeted athletes who we have been recruiting for a year or so, hoping that one of those works out for us at least,” said women’s basketball coach, Kellie Kennedy. “We are also working on getting lots of game film from our top tier prospects to do some additional evaluations by film.”

While evaluating prospective platers without watching them play in person is far from ideal, Kennedy said she’s confident that her program will make it through the pandemic with as much talent as ever.

“We will find a way to recruit a great class, just like we did this year,” she said.

Track and cross-country are a bit different than some other sports teams when it comes to recruiting.

“In a typical year, I would sometimes go to meets to meet with potential student athletes to see what they can do,” said head track and cross-country coach Geoff Masanet. “However, that is not necessary. We are able to look at data from results to see the run times, jump times, and everything else.”

Recruiting runners based off of data from meets is the easiest way to determine if that student is an exact fit for the team, it allows coaches to compare their scores to runners currently on the Wolf Pack roster said Masanet.

“This year we are focusing on distance running and male runners. We have gotten a lot of females for sprinting and jumping,” said Masanet. “We do need more females for distance running though. We will have spots we have to fill once the seniors leave. That is what we need to look at.”

Wolf Pack coaches said they hope to see high school sports go back to normal, but, if necessary, they are prepared to keep recruiting in the socially distanced world of sports.