Elliott column: Tennis standout chooses Quincy

Elliott column: Tennis standout chooses Quincy

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Elliott column: Tennis standout chooses Quincy

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This isn’t necessarily newsworthy to most, but the Internet has become a huge asset to not only college recruiters, but also prospective college athletes.

Ask Wyatt Pauley.

The St. Cloud Tech senior recently signed an NCAA national letter of intent to play tennis at Quincy University in Illinois.

“It’s kind of been my lifelong goal,” Pauley said of playing college tennis.

Well, not exactly.

Pauley said he remembers attending a clinic when he was about 6 years old and absolutely despised the sport.

“I really did not like it,” he said. “I stopped playing until seventh grade.

“It was the worst sport, I thought.”

In junior high, he had a change of heart. It has become a passion. And because of the Internet, it has led him to Quincy. It’s a small, Catholic school located near the Mississippi River that competes at the Division II level.

Pauley was a member of the Tigers’ state Class 2A tournament team last spring and expects Tech to be a state contender again in 2014.

His list of schools included other Internet finds: Southern Utah and Siena in New York. Quincy is closer, obviously, and has an entrepreneurial business major that he’d like to pursue.

That these places would be on a list of someone from St. Cloud is thanks to a college online recruiting site called NCSASports.org.

On its site, it claims it “was founded in 2000 to help student athletes and their families navigate the cutthroat, competitive, and often confusing world of college recruiting.”

Pauly did his research, too.

“I guess I looked at the conference they were in and it’s a good conference (the Great Lakes Valley),” Pauley said. “There are two schools in the 20. The coach (Bill LaTour) is a nice guy.

“It seemed like a good fit for me.”

Pauley figures it’s far enough south that playing outdoors in the spring won’t be as big an issue as it is in Central Minnesota.

“It’ll be kind of nice,” Pauley said. “The coach told me they play year round.”

He’s also happy to have the decision behind him. He wanted to sign early because tennis scholarships at the Division II level are few and far between.

If he waited until the spring, he figured there might not be any money available.

“(Signing early) was pretty important,” Pauley said.

Signed up, he said he plays tennis regularly, often against players from St. Cloud State and St. John’s who also are in their off-seasons. Then, it’s the spring season, weather permitting.

Anyone in these parts can tell you spring sports were quite an adventure in 2013. The weather was awful. Quincy, he said, can’t be nearly as bad.

“I’m just going to go out and compete my best at every match and hopefully come out on top,” Pauley said.

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