Getting Recruited; Words of Wisdom From Tabor Coach Conor Bozzi

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Getting Recruited; Words of Wisdom From Tabor Coach Conor Bozzi

Getting Recruited is every high school athlete’s dream, however there’s a lot more to it than just waiting for a coach to call.

This is a first in a series of articles designed for wrestlers and parents to “See the big picture” regarding schools and recruiting.  Whether it be going to a prep school or graduating to college, there are a number of things to think about but it doesn’t have to be a ‘scary’ process and it doesn’t necessarily entail spending a fortune. It’s all about finding the right venue, academically, athletically and financially. AND YOU NEED TO START NOW!

For someone who will be a senior this year, you need to be on a coaches list well before September. Coaches typically use up  their committals prior to the start of school. If you haven’t been in touch with the coach at the school of your choice, BE PROACTIVE, contact the coach and try to get a commitment.  It’s not a guarantee but goes a long way in the admissions dept. I’ve seen plenty of underqualified (according to the basic requirements for admission) applicants get admitted to some top schools. NEVER underestimate the power of a coachs’ recommendation!

For some students,two years at a good prep school is beneficial to ripen the student academically, athletically and socially; making them better prospects for the college of their choice.


Getting Recruited; Words of Wisdom From Tabor Coach Conor Bozzi

Tabor Academy

I interviewed Coach Conor Bozzi of Tabor Academy. Tabor is a beautiful facility located on the ocean in Marion Massachusetts. If someone is thinking of attending a great school with a possible career in a nautical

environment, then Tabor is the place for you. But it’s certainly not limited to specifically nautical careers.

Keep in mind, when you attend a prep school, you’re not only exposed to students from other states, you have the opportunity to meet students from around the world. It’s truly a multi-cultural experience!

VW   “How do you find potential recruits?

CB  “A lot of it is Word of Mouth.  Sometimes someone will say ‘hey there’s a kid in my wrestling club that’s

Smitty’s Barn Wrestling Club

interested in Prep School, why don’t we reach out to him’, other times it’ll be a parent and they’ll say, ‘I was at a tournament and I talked to a friend’s dad who said they were just in from school and they wanted more information’ so I will reach out to them.

Every now and then it’s a college coach and they identify somebody who they like and might need a couple of years of academic tutoring and prep school. Then we’d be a great place for that kid to go. Also I’ll follow Middle School Club results and some of the bigger clubs like Doughboys, Smitty’s or Clark in Providence and then we’ll find a kid that we may be interested in so we’ll reach out to parents or other people to find out if he’s a strong student, if he’s a prep school type of kid, if you might be interested in our program, but bottom line, a lot of it is Word of Mouth. 

We don’t have time enough to cover the smaller clubs and remote areas (because we have to coach and teach as well as recruit) It’s unfortunate that we can’t be everywhere so kids have to be proactive and just reach out to us and as I said before I would be more than happy to follow up with that individual”.

VW   “What’s required of a recruit, what’s needed for them to get accepted to Tabor academically and athletically, socially or any other aspect or any other extracurricular activity?

CB   “I always think of it as I’m not recruiting for the wrestling team I’m recruiting for Tabor Academy. On our program we want kids who want  to engage in a lot of the opportunities and we really like kids who do different things. Whether they play on another team, play a musical instrument, engage in the Arts…somebody who wants to be here and take advantage of all the opportunities we have. I don’t want kids who are just wrestlers, I want kids to see the bigger picture”.

Click For Tabor Guide For Applying To Independent Schools

VW   “Talk about academic requirements”.

CB   “Usually the kids that are interested in a good Prep School are the kids that want to go to a good college; the things that you need to get into a good college are the things that you need to get into Tabor. When you’re looking at Wesleyan, Trinity, Harvard or Columbia or any strong academic schools, you can’t have C’s on your transcript, you’ve got to have A’s and B’s. We really want kids that we’re confident can succeed here.

Also important are standardized tests–for boarding schools, the SSAT is the test.  Unfortunately that can be a barrier for some kids because they find out about it late in the application process; the
earlier you start the process  for the SSATs the more you can be
prepared. You can even take them again if you need to.  You don’t
necessarily have to take a course but you need some time to focus on
the SSAT.  Even just taking the SSAT’s  in the 8th or 9th grade is a
maturation process for a kid where they going into Prep School or into a public school because sooner or later they’ll have to take the SATs
and it will help them be more prepared.”.

 About 37% of Tabor students receive demonstrated need-based financial aid.           Click Here for Financial Aid Page

VW  “What does Tabor offer to a recruit IE academically socially athletically culturally etc.

CB “The things that students don’t understand about prep schools is that they get much more attention that comes in a variety of way…plus the size of an average class is about 12, a large class is about 16 so obviously you’re getting much more attention from your teachers. Also there’s a College counseling office starting midway in your junior year through your senior year. They work with you one-on-one to try and find the college that’s right for you and focus on the college process itself.

Because just about everybody lives on campus there’s constant interaction. All that attention just helps kids mature and grow and come into their own. It’s a diverse environment with kids from 20-something countries and the majority of the United States, kids from all over the world, all over the country, different social and economic classes… it’s a diverse environment and it’s quite different from what you see in the average public high school.  It’s all that in a beautiful setting right on the ocean in Marion Massachusetts.”

VW  “What kind of facilities does Tabor have”?

CB  “All of the good prep schools have terrific facilities, academic, athletic and extracurricular. What makes Tabor a little bit different than the average prep school is our Marine and Nautical Science Center building dedicated to studying Marine Science and Nautical Science focusing on marine biology. Advanced Marine Biology classes and independent study opportunities as well as nautical studies courses start at intro and go all the way through Celestial navigation which is of course navigating by the Stars.

We also have a 92 foot schooner called the Tabor Boy which is captained by a faculty member who is a licensed captain and is crewed almost exclusively by tabor students.

We use the boat to host our summer orientation cruises, students can crew on the boat as their afternoon activity in the fall or spring, and it spends alternating winters in the Caribbean while students engage in hands-on coral reef research. Because of our robust nautical science programs and the ways we make use of the SSV Tabor Boy, Tabor is designated as one of two naval honors schools, enabling students to bypass Congressional nomination for any of the service academies. We still encourage our kids to take that path, but receiving a Naval Honors distinction from Tabor can help at service academies.

VW  “What can a recruit expect  of improving their odds of College admission”?

CB “If a kid works hard academically and really engages in the classroom and they’re working to their full potential, College counseling office know so many schools and they do a great job of identifying which kids would be the best fit at which schools. They work with the coaches as well to find the right programs suitable for the students capabilities plus the people in The College counseling office will get the kids in the process much sooner than they normally would which is always beneficial.

 It’s not only an opportunity to help you get into a better school but once the kids get into the school they find themselves far more prepared than the average high school student. The training that they get in Prep School is more akin to the type of environment that they’ll see in college. They learn how to be away from home, they learn how to learn on their own, they’re not home sick, they’re more mature and in general it’s an easier transition to college,

Don’t ever be afraid to apply to a really good school because you never know what schools are looking for. You may not think that you’re sufficient material for that school but you never know, they may be looking for someone just like you.



Getting Recruited; Words of Wisdom From Tabor Coach Conor Bozzi

Vermont Wrestler – Getting Recruited Series


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