Urges girls to keep options open
By Cari Hachmann/The Portland Observer
Dennis Carline, athletic director of De La Salle High School, does not believe college-bound players are taking full advantage of future athletic scholarship opportunities. Banking from 30-years of coaching experience, Carline gives student athletes and parents an informational pep talk.
Contrary to what many may have been told, he advises student-athletes to explore multiple sports in high school rather than focusing on just one. Why? “It gives them a choice,” said Carline.
“If kids are good athletes, explore the possibilities. Don’t limit them to one,” he said.
As a former Benson High School basketball and volleyball coach, Carline encouraged his players to cross-train in track, golf, softball, and other sports during the off season. His three daughters, all NCAA Division 1 scholars, were multiple-sport athletes in high school.
“Playing multiple sports keeps doors open,” said Carline.
A high school athlete may be less interested or talented in one sport, but find greater success in another.
“Too often, players are pouring all their eggs in one basket,” he said.
The pressure to be recruited for a single sport to an athlete’s dream school can leave players burnt out, discouraged if they don’t make the cut, or regretful for not trying another sport. In a sport saturated with great players, like basketball, getting a full scholarship at a division one school like the University of Oregon can be as likely as winning the lottery for some athletes who may do just as well elsewhere.
Beyond Oregon and Pacific Northwest conferences, many student athletes are unaware of the bountiful college opportunities, says Carline. Where an in-state recruiter may brush over a strong local player, an out-of-state school may be willing to offer a full scholarship, he says.
Carline informs players of two conferences; the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference, many of which are historically black and division one colleges that are willing to offer full athletic scholarships, but student must be willing to work hard and leave the state.
“Division 1 is no joke; it’s hard work, but you get your education paid for,” said Carline.
The athletic director says serious athletes should start researching schools and contacting coaches as early as their sophomore year, rather than waiting for college recruiters to find them.
“Nobody is going to drop it in your lap,” said Carline, “You’re going to have to do some work.” He says if players initiate conversation with colleges that are interested early, it saves recruiters time and money, and more apt to lead to a future contract.
By junior year, players can whittle down their choices to just two sports, and by senior year, athletes can choose the sport that suits them best and put eggs in that basket, he said. Parents can offer support in this process by helping their kids’ research and contact college coaches, prepare and encourage them to take the SATS and keep their grades up, and involve athletes in club sports to improve their skills.
Kamaron “Kamie” Boggan, 20, had played softball her whole life before she found interest in volleyball during her freshman year at Benson High School. She continued both sports for four years, and played basketball for two.
“I could pick and choose where I wanted to eventually go,” said Boggan.
She chose volleyball. Traveling with a volleyball team for the Athena Volleyball Club as a right-side hitter opened the doors to college recruiters. By her junior year, Boggan had contacted several college coaches after confirming she wanted to get a free education to play the sport she loved.
Jackson State University in Mississippi was among her top picks, where a list of Portland athletes have received full rides beginning with coach Carline’s daughter, Denetia Carline, 28, a 2002 Benson High graduate who lettered varsity in volleyball, basketball, and golf, and played Division 1 volleyball as a setter at Jackson.
“I didn’t think I could get a volleyball scholarship, because I’m short,” said Denetia, who studied graphic design and got her Master of Arts in Elementary Education. She says, however, there are schools out there looking for players like her.
“I can set a multiple attack—not everyone can do that—that’s kind of what got me in,” she said.
Amanda Boggan, Kameron’s sister, a 2005 Benson High played who lettered varsity in volleyball, basketball and softball, received a scholarship to play Division 1 softball at Jackson as an in-fielder.
Delissa Carline, a 2008 De La Salle North Catholic graduate who played and lettered in varsity volleyball, basketball and track, played Division 1 volleyball at Morgan State as a setter.
Now Kamaron Boggan, a 2009 Benson High graduate who played and lettered varsity in volleyball, basketball and softball, plays Division 1 volleyball at Jackson with her roommate Daedra Carline, 22, a 2005 De La Salle North Catholic graduate who lettered varsity in volleyball, basketball, and softball.
Going to school out of state, especially to the south, had never really occurred to Boggan, but having relations there made it that much easier for her to accept a full ride to play volleyball. Now, Boggan, in her junior year, balances a busy student life of volleyball and her studies in Civil Engineering.
Compared to high school, college volleyball is more competitive and requires more of the players.
When she has free time, Boggan is holed up in the library, studying, a task she often must complete on the road to games, but she already mastered the art of time management in high school, playing three sports year around.
“It’s a job, but it’s also rewarding and fun. I’m playing the sport I love, making friends with teammates, and winning is always fun,” said Boggan. Practicing, weight-training, and traveling for games consumes 90 percent of her time, even in the offseason, when players are expected to stay conditioned and skilled.
Daedra Carline, a senior at Jackson, said she wanted to play volleyball like her sister, but she also didn’t want her parents to have to pay for her to go in school or go into debt.
Boggan advises high school athletes not to expect college coaches to come calling, but instead to let them know you’re interested, so they can eventually follow you.
She also suggests playing off season with clubs to see different levels of play that will prepare you for the college level.