AACC Riverhawks recruit all year long


Frank Mitchell III

The Riverhawks lacrosse team recruited third-year communications student Payton Williams in 2021 to play midfield.

Dan Elson, Sports Editor

At AACC, coaches recruit players for their teams all year long. 

When recruiting, coaches go to high schools in Anne Arundel County to look at players. Athletic Director Duane Herr said the biggest challenge to recruiting is the competition from other colleges.

“We’re in a very saturated area for colleges,” Herr said. “There’s a lot of success in the surrounding area with a number of sports. So I think our student athletes have a very fortunate opportunity for them to select between a number of different schools that are competitive. … We have [potential] players that go on to the four-year level, and then some choose a different college.”

Head men’s lacrosse coach Joe Stanilaus agreed.

“I think a lot of [the] time a kid wants to go to a four-year [school and] doesn’t want to stop [at community college] immediately,” Stanilaus said. “That can be a challenge at the end of the day.”

The college offers donor-funded scholarships for baseball, softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse. Herr said up to four players on each team can receive scholarships. The grade-point-average requirement for athletes to receive a scholarship ranges from 1.75 to 3.0, depending on the donor’s standards.

National Junior College Athletic Association rules prohibit colleges from offering scholarships  to players on Division III sports teams, such as the Riverhawks men’s and women’s basketball teams. Still, athletes could be eligible for financial aid from AACC. 

Stanilaus noted recruitment is mandatory.

“It’s something you have to do,” Stanilaus said. “If you don’t do it, then you’re going to start the next year with very small numbers and obviously you don’t want to do that.”

Stanilaus said he looks for coachable players when recruiting. 

A player “needs to handle stuff the right way on the field, and make sure he gets his teammates involved and he’s respectful to the game,” Stanilaus noted.

Last year, Stanilaus recruited third-year communications student Payton Williams, who is a midfielder in lacrosse.

Williams said the Riverhawks “recruited me because they had a good team. And they needed a few more pieces to the puzzle, to be a national championship contender. I think that they needed someone who could do what I do, score a lot of goals [and] can help facilitate the offense.”

Head women’s cross-country coach Susan Noble said she looks for runners “that like to run. Not that they’re fantastic at running, not that they’re the best runner [which is] nice to have, but to be a good consistent runner. [We look] for someone who just wants a connection to a team and they want fitness and they want some competition.”

Noble said recruiting benefits the Riverhawks.

“Especially in a two-year school, you’re constantly having to replace your team,” Noble said. “[If] this was a four-year school, you’d have time to develop [a player].”

Noble said the most memorable person she recruited is 40-year-old second-year health and human services student Jasmine Mauldin who ran for the team last fall.

“She ran the whole season,” Noble said. “She did great [and her] times dropped, she was my right hand man on the team. She was a freshman [and] really understood the struggle of trying to balance school as a freshman. But she also had the perspective of what running means in the big picture.”

Head women’s volleyball coach Tanecha Rice said she knows when she has recruited the right player.

“From day one, [they] start working [and] give me 100%,” Rice noted.

Rice said recruiting usually starts in the spring. 

Second-year media production student Shane Emerson, a baseball pitcher, said he wasn’t surprised AACC recruited him in 2020.

“I always felt that I could play in college,” Emerson said. “So it was [a] cool [experience].”