Niles High School hosts Athletic Recruiting Fair

Published 8:44 am Friday, May 5, 2023

NILES — The Niles High School gymnasium was bustling Wednesday evening with students hoping to continue their athletics experience into college.

The Niles High School leadership class hosted its inaugural Southwest Michigan Athletic Recruiting Fair. The recruiting fair, initiated by seniors Audrey Dixon and Kaleb Thornton as part of a capstone project, was designed to help juniors and seniors prepare for the possibility of not only furthering their education, but participating in college athletics.

“I think it gives kids a lot of opportunities,” Thornton said. “They could come here with no idea what they want to do and then walk out with phone numbers and relationships they may not have had earlier.”

Participating schools included Lake Michigan College, Southwestern Michigan College, Indiana University South Bend, Ancilla College, Kalamazoo College, Olivet College, Bethel College and Lansing Community College. Dixon and Thornton created the event in hopes it would become an annual event. According to Dixon, a class will be taking over the coordination responsibilities next year.

“Our goal is to bring the coaches and the students together,” said Dixon, who signed with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on a swimming scholarship. “That was my big thing, making the connection was quite difficult and for swimming, they hold events like this specifically for swimming. My big thought was what if we just did it for the community and then it went out further with Berrien County and then we went further Cass County and included South Bend Sports as well.

“That was our big thing was just making connections and having a location where it’s less awkward and having people doing the same thing you’re doing.”