By Jennifer Harvell
Most children who grow up playing or watching sports have dreams of becoming professional athletes. Sports combines are one of the best ways for aspiring athletes to expose their talents to professional coaches in hopes of being called up to the next level. Recently, two Chowan student-athletes attended combines – chasing their dreams of continuing their athletic careers.
Aaron Palmer traveled to Gilbert, Arizona, one weekend to compete in a football combine. “One of my favorite parts of the combine was competing against some of the best athletes from some of the biggest D1 schools in the nation, such as Louisville, West Virginia, Florida State, etc. And I wanted to prove that a D2 athlete belonged there just as much as anyone else.” Palmer also had the opportunity to work with some of the top kicking and punting coaches in the country, learning new tactics and developing his playing abilities. When asked what he hopes to come from the combine, Palmer enthusiastically answered, “I hope to get a freaking phone call and be a pro!”
Jennifer Harvell is another Chowan athlete hoping to go to the next level. She attended a soccer combine in Naples, Florida, in January. “One of the most incredible things was meeting girls from all over the country and knowing each other for only a few days, but still being able to work with each other on the field and play like we’ve been on a team together for years. It was also interesting to talk to the girls and discover that some of them went to colleges that Chowan has played before.” Another very exciting aspect was that there were many national and international professional coaches at the combine who introduced new drills and playing strategies. Havell is thrilled to have had this experience and eagerly awaits the results.