Non-athletic regular people Life after college sports

As a student at FSU, Nick Cafrelli was a standout goalie for the college ice hockey team. 

After graduating in 2015, he took a job as the goalie coach for the Boston Jr. Terriers out of Canton.

He is also currently applying for a job in marketing.  “[Goalie coaching] is awesome, but I can’t make a living off it.”   

While a few former FSU athletes continue playing sports professionally, most become what is known on campus as NARPs- non-athletic regular people.

Athletes at Framingham State University can play a maximum of four years in the NCAA league before they graduate and move on. So what do college athletes do once they graduate and merge into the world with the rest of the NARPS? That depends on who you ask.

Former soccer goalie Sarah Sullivan is applying for elementary school positions in her hometown upon graduation this May. 

“My main goals are to be a successful teacher and member of my community.

“I also hope to be accepted into a master’s program by summer 2017,” she said.

Once the season permanently ends for seniors, fitting workouts into their schedules becomes their own responsibility.  They no longer have trainers who travel to games with their team, tend to their injuries and provide them with specific workouts.

Go to the gym on a weekday and a team is likely taking over the space.  Men’s and women’s teams switch off between squats, lunges, treadmills and dumbbells with their trainer watching to take attendance and be sure no one cuts corners or hurts themselves. 

Cafrelli said, “The hardest thing was not skating every day anymore.  My workouts almost stopped completely once I stopped playing.”

Jennifer Johnson, senior soccer player said, “In all honesty, the biggest challenge I have faced since the end of the season is training myself to eat like a normal human as opposed to a college athlete.

“When you’re not working out at such a high intensity every day, you realize you don’t need nearly as much food as you used to,” she added.

However, not all FSU athletes conform to society and become NARPs.  Some prefer to defy the word, or at least put it off a little longer.

Being a Division III school, athletes are not generally recognized by scouts.  But some athletes find other outlets and use them to their advantage in furthering their career.

Zack Kirby, FSU senior and pitcher for the baseball team, says he has plans to go pro. 

“I’ve been contacted and thrown bullpens in front of a few MLB organization scouts … assuming this season goes well, I plan on getting drafted this June,” Kirby said.

Kirby started to gain a lot of recognition after joining the nationally 5th ranked summer league, the Brockton Rox.  From there things only went up for Kirby as he won Pitcher of the Year in the league, earning him even more attention.

“It was by far the best baseball I’ve ever been a part of,” he said.

Matt Silva, former FSU football captain and quarterback, signed a contract with the Prague Lions in the Czech Republic for the 2016 season.

Ryan McDonald, alum and former captain of the FSU ice hockey team, tried out for a few different pro-hockey teams before signing a contract with a team in Germany.

“In my contract housing (including Wi-Fi and utilities), hockey equipment, car rental and German cell number are all taken care of by the team.  The only things I must pay for are groceries and gas.”

McDonald said each team is only allowed two imports.  “There are three Americans in our division.  I am the only American on our team. My roommate, and other import, is Canadian.

“I will play hockey forever until I can’t walk anymore,” said McDonald.

“A good friend of mine, Aron, got me the job.  He is representing me as my agent,” he added.

While some students are testing the waters in pro leagues and abroad, most college athletes put their degree to use after their four years in the NCAA.  Those who don’t use it right away keep it on the back burner just in case their sports careers do not work out.

“I want to go as high as I can go professionally,” said McDonald.

“Once I’ve noticed that I’ve hit a plateau, that’s the day I’ll decide if it’s time to move on and use my degree.” 

[Editor’s note: Jennifer Johnson is a news editor for The Gatepost.]

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