COVID-19 impacting college recruiting for East Texas gymnasts

Updated: Jan. 31, 2021 at 10:04 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) -Many sports have been impacted across the country due to the pandemic. Some states are not even allowing high school sports to take place which in turn can impact college recruiting. Even in states like Texas, where sports are being played, recruiting is still greatly impacted because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Kaitlin Abanto is one of several members of Texas East Kids that has a chance to compete at the next level. Abanto is a senior and has talked with numerous schools to be a part of their acrobatics and tumbling team a process that has been completely different this year.

“For most colleges they have set rules due to COVID, so I can’t visit the school, meet the coaches and the teammates and everything like that so a lot of its virtual,” said Abanto.

Virtual visits make picking a school even harder, something Hannah Hagle knows all about. Hagle who recently committed to Auburn as a gymnast said her decision was a tough landing to stick because of the process of having to develop chemistry with coaches and future teammates through Zoom.

“It’s almost like there was a connection missing between the coaches and I but as phone calls went on it was easier to talk to them and it was almost like I had made a connection and we are now kind of like friends,” said Hagle.

For senior Katie Kuenemann it’s more than just making a connection, she has to prove to coaches who can no longer visit her practices or competitions that she has what it takes after multiple injuries.

“Just not being able to communicate with them and show them what I can do fully so it has just made it a harder process than it typically should be or would be,” said Kuenemann.

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