Madison senior Kameron Kostial wants to play in the major leagues one day, but he’s graduating in a tough year for would-be college recruits.
After COVID-19 precautions forced league officials to cancel last season, college organizations like the NCAA and NJCAA granted graduating players an extra year of eligibility, meaning scholarship players generally kept their scholarships for an additional year instead of graduating and leaving their programs. As a result, nearly every college has less college scholarship money to give out.
The unique year left Kostial in a stressful position. He probably had fewer colleges to choose from than he would have in a ordinary year yet his decision would affect nearly everything about the next two years of his life.
Kostial’s visit to Big Bend Community College, his first college visit, compounded the problem. I didn’t feel like a good fit.
Miles City, Montana, where MCC is located, felt small enough for him to manage but big enough to get him where he wants to go.
“The town is really small but I like it because it’s not going to take a lot to get used to,” Kostial said. “You’re not really going to get lost or anything.”
Kostial said he felt like he was meeting a new family when he met the coaches and players on the team.
He especially liked head coach Jeff Brabant who he said balances his sense of humor with his sometimes strict coaching methods while emphasizing the importance of developing good character.
“He’s very straight forward, not a lot of bull crap or anything like that,” Kostial said. “He’s just straight forward. He’s going to tell you if he likes you or not.”
Kostial hopes this isn’t the last time he finds himself choosing between colleges. He hopes to play for an NCAA Division I college in a year or two before getting drafted into the pros.
“Thinking about being a college athlete just makes me happy,” Kostial said. “It’s what I’ve been working for and I’m not going to stop. I’m going to get to the next level after that.”