Jillian Ward understood that the recruiting process can involve many twists and turns after witnessing her older brother TJ go through it when she was in middle school.
Jillian, a Jersey City native and standout shortstop at Hudson Catholic, experienced her own surprises during her recruitment, which concluded with her verbally committing and then signing her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Fairleigh Dickinson University. With her signing on Wednesday, Ward becomes the first Division I softball player to ever come out of Hudson Catholic.
A little more than a month prior, the possibility of staying local was not her priority and she had not been in contact with Fairleigh Dickinson until after Chris Foye was hired as the new softball coach.
“He got the job in September and they just came into the picture maybe a month ago. I did not expect to go there,” Ward said. “I took a visit and I didn’t think anything of it, it was just to see the campus. Then he showed up at my (travel team) practice and from there, we just kept going, we kept talking. I then took my overnight visit and I verbally committed then.”
Hartford – where TJ is the starting third baseman on the baseball team – Saint Peter’s and Adelphi were the other schools who showed the most interest in Ward, who initially sought out locations further away from home. Instead, the relationship with Foye and the ability for her parents to see her games won out.
“It was mainly the coach, I liked him a lot and I also liked that it was close to home,” Ward said. “I did want to go far, but then I realized I want my parents to be able to come to my games so I thought it was the perfect distance.”
– Hudson Catholic volleyball standout Alanis Alvarado signed her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at Saint Peter’s University on Wednesday. Alvarado and Ward become just the second and third female athletes to sign Division I scholarships since the school…