Jeppe High School for Boys learners thankful for the US tour

Two Jeppe High School for Boys learners Jordaan Sampson and Jaudyn April will represent Africa at the 2018 US Soccer ID Tour, with the focus of the tour aimed to expose talented student-athletes to college and high school coaches in the US.

April and Sampson said they saw an advert about the tour on social media.

“We then registered on College Connect International (CCI) website and went through various processes until we were chosen to go to the USA to represent Africa.

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“We are very happy to be part of this journey. We will have the privilege and opportunity to play in front of almost 100 college and academy soccer coaches, visit college campuses and learn about US culture and history over the course of the trip. We will ultimately be representing Africa, CCI, South Africa, our families and high schools too. We hope to make our country proud. It’s an incredible opportunity to fly the flag high,” they said.

The 12-day tour offers the selected elite players from South Africa and Zimbabwe the opportunity to visit key cities on the east coast, be seen by top US college coaches and pro academy teams, train in exquisite locations, play against top college soccer prospects and to experience some of the US’s cultural, scenic and historical treasures.

The ultimate goal is to offer players an opportunity to be scouted for places on great college or high school teams and to expose their talent.

“At CCI our goal is to make sure those we choose to work with are truly successful in the recruiting process and receive realistic opportunities to become student-athletes in the USA. So, we started the Africa Showcase in 2017 which is our way of finding more interested and talented student-athletes across Southern Africa. This was after noticing the trend that we increased the chances of connecting our kids with top schools if they are seen in person, as opposed to receiving minimal scholarship offers solely based on the video,” said the college’s recruiting coordinator Leigh Adriaanse.

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This year CCI had over 250 student-athletes participants. About 180 participated at the Johannesburg and Cape Town events.

“Our criteria is based on ability, academics and character display over the two days. We open this to all student-athletes, regardless of financial background, but require them to meet the academic benchmark for final team selection. We have a selection panel of independent soccer coaches and CCI recruiters. We had a limited number of spots available for the student-athletes to register on our website which is how they then participated in this year’s Africa Showcase.

“April and Sampson were part of the top 20 student-athletes that really stood out in the Johannesburg Soccer Showcase. What was really exciting about them was their maturity on and off the field, given their young age,” he said.

The student-athletes will attend Soccer ID Camps, playing as a team against an MLS development team and a day or two of sight-seeing.

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They will also participate in educational seminars designed to improve their understanding of a US college education and recruiting process. They will also receive valuable insights into life as college soccer players and how to plan for a career after college.

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