Hometown athletes tackle recruiting process


Emily Tatum (Top Left) going up for a hit (Photo courtesy of Jerry Rea). Josh McCoy (Top Right) playing for his summer ball team “Arsenal Angels”. Brandon Gibson (Bottom Left) and Billy Sternberg (Bottom Right) on their visits to Alma College. (All other photos courtesy of athletes.)

Jack Beyer, Staff Writer

“I am blessed to announce my commitment to…” These are the words that every kid who plays sports dreams to say on social media.

But for Senior Josh McCoy, these words became a reality. McCoy is a 6-foot-8-inch 200-pound Right Handed Pitcher who has played baseball since he was able to hold a ball. He has always been the tallest player on the field, which helps him literally stand out to not only opposing players, but to coaches and scouts as well. On Aug. 9 2021, he announced his commitment on Instagram, to play baseball at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

“It felt good,” said McCoy, expressing how he felt when he announced the news. “All my hard work paying off, all the hours I’ve invested, it was sweet,” he continued. With EMU having a strong coaching staff, led by Eric Roof coming into his third season of the head coach position, and having a great team atmosphere, Eastern was the place McCoy wanted to be.

He is not the only one who has gone through this stressful, yet exciting process; Varsity Quarterback Billy Sternberg and Receiver Brandon Gibson are only beginning the journey.

With Sternberg currently holding offers from Kalamazoo and Alma College and Gibson having offers from Lawrence Tech and Alma College as well, these experiences have served as a milestone in their life. Sternberg, who stands at 6-foot 190 pounds, started the recruiting process this last summer. He began attending small college camps and performing in combines, which consists of running and throwing the ball. “It’s fun, a lot of work though,” Sternberg said of the process. “It’s all about keeping your stats updated and posting updated films as well.”

Gibson’s experience, however, was different. “I went into shock,” he said when asked about his reaction to his first offer. “I had a great camp showing and was able to be offered on the spot.”

A lot of people look up to these two stellar athletes, especially the kids in the youth football program, the Mustangs. “Whatever you do, just work,” says Gibson. “People are going to hate on you regardless; just tune it out and work.”

But for Volleyball player Emily Tatum, she has been tuning out the noise since she arrived at Milford. Tatum has played varsity volleyball since she was a Freshman. Now a Senior, people recognize her from years past and know what she’s about. “Some teams we play trash talk at the net, but I’m not one to respond,” Tatum stated. “My goal is just to smile at them, letting my actions speak louder than my words.” Tatum is looking to find a home at a lower level Division 2 or 3 school. She is scheduled to make a visit at Adrian College in early October.

Part of being  recruited is not all about working hard in the field, but working hard in the classroom. All four athletes believe that the classroom always comes first before sports, and from the look of it, this strategy seems to be working well for all of them.

All of these athletes are outstanding students as well and have managed to keep a 3.0 G.P.A. or higher all throughout high school. Milford athletics are proud of these four athletes for not only their success athletically, but for their success academically.

“It’s always very exciting to see a kid continue their playing career,” says Head Football Coach Garfrey Smith. “It’s even more exciting seeing a player get accepted to a college.” The school wishes them the best of luck as they continue to work to reach their overall dream of making a name for themselves.