The Committed Life: Athletes Talk About Getting the Offer


Reid Leibold ’20 celebrated his commitment to RPI on Twitter.

You may have seen it on your friend’s Twitter or Instagram bio: “Committed to St. Lawrence” or “Dartmouth Commit.” Or maybe you’ve seen the social media announcements: from the student-athletes, from the colleges or from the athlete’s club or school. For many student-athletes, playing Division I athletics is the ultimate goal, and committing to a college is an important milestone on that journey.

According to the NCAA, “A verbal commitment happens when a college-bound student-athlete verbally agrees to play sports for a college before he or she signs or is eligible to sign a National Letter of Intent. The commitment is not binding on the student-athlete or the school and can be made at any time.” Most student-athletes “become committed” before they even apply to the school, sometimes as early as ninth grade.


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Coach Chadd Cassidy

A player’s coach usually has a big role in the recruiting process. “Coaches help with kids getting committed by trying to identify the right college program for the student and introducing the college coach to the student,” said Junior Team head coach Chadd Cassidy. “The most important part is making sure it is a good fit for the student and the school/hockey program. In my opinion, it is not important for a player to get an early commitment. It is more important to make sure they make the RIGHT commitment,” Cassidy added. “I am always proud and happy when our players find the right school to continue their academic and playing career,” said Cassidy.

Northwood School currently has ten committed student-athletes between the Junior Hockey and Soccer Teams. They are:

  • Will Arquiett ‘19 (hockey) to St. Lawrence University
  • Tommy Bannister ‘20 (hockey) to St. Lawrence University
  • Mark Keiffer ‘19 (soccer) to Colgate University
  • Jared Lambright ‘20 (hockey) to St. Lawrence University
  • Reid Leibold ‘20 (hockey) to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Prince Loney-Bailey ‘19 (soccer) to James Madison University
  • Cody Monds ‘19 (hockey) to St. Lawrence University
  • Iñaki Rodríguez ‘19 (soccer) to University of Michigan
  • Alex Van Schalkwyk ‘19 (soccer) to Dartmouth College
  • Josh Waters ‘19 (hockey) to Dartmouth College

The Mirror sat down with several of the committed student-athletes to learn more about their stories.



“I committed to Dartmouth College in November 2018. It was a long process, and I got a lot of help from my coaches and family. The coaches from Dartmouth saw me play in a tournament, and they asked my coach about me and the possibility my of playing for their team. Then they came to watch me play in Quebec, where I had one of my best games. After that, while I was on Thanksgiving Break, I received a call from Coach Cassidy saying that Dartmouth wanted me to visit campus. My guidance counselor then sent all of my academic records to the coach so he could ask the admissions office if I had the grades and test scores to get in. During the visit they offered me a spot on their roster. After I got commited, I felt relieved because now my future is kind of set up and my life is coming together. Even though I am already committed, school has the same importance to me because I know Dartmouth’s classes will be challenging.”

– Josh Waters ‘19



“I am committed to James Madison University since the summer of 2018. The process started when I was playing for my old team. I was looking for a different school and JMU caught my attention. Their coaches reached out to me and brought me to campus to visit. They ended up giving me the best offer, so I took it. After I got commited my life got easier. Because I already knew where I was going to college, I started to focus on other stuff. I think that I have to keep trying in school because in order to play at a DI school you also have to be a not only a good athlete but also a good student.”

– Prince Loney-Bailey ‘19



“I committed to Colgate in November 2018, It was a long and difficult process. I was first committed to Cornell in the fall of my junior year (2017), but ended up losing it over the summer. And that led me to continue my college search. Colgate had been in touch with me before, so I ended up reaching out to them. They saw me play couple of times and ended up giving me an good offer, which I accepted. After I got commited I felt less stressed about school and my future. I still work hard because I feel that I have to maintain my grades and improve in order to do well in my courses at Colgate.”

– Mark Keiffer ‘19



“I commited to St.Lawrence three years ago during my freshman year. The process started when they saw me play when I was 14 years old. Then I came to Northwood and during my first year, when I was playing on the U16 team, they told that if I keep it up they will offer me in January. They did, and I accepted. Life after my commitment has changed for me and my family: we already know about my future and having a full scholarship helps my parents financially because college is so expensive. With the commitment, I don’t stress a lot about school. But I am just maintaining good grades.”

– Cody Monds ‘19



“I am committed to St. Lawrence since 2016. The process took a while. I was talking to them and a couple of other schools for approximately 6 month, but St. Lawrence was the first one to offer me and I accepted. Now that I am committed it feels nice to know  where I am going for my college years. Now I am focused on school and finishing with good grades.”

– Tommy Bannister ‘20


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