Earning a college athletic scholarship -- or even nailing down partial financial aid -- can be a trying experience that tests the patience of coaches, parents and high school students.
But there could be help on the horizon to ease the tensions and frustrations of the process.
It will come in the form of a long-time authority on recruiting and scholarships who has been invited to the Rim country by Payson High School Athletic Director Barry Smith.
Jack Renkens, an educator, author, motivator and former award-winning coach, is scheduled to present "The Realities of College Recruiting," a program free to the public at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 in the high school auditorium.
Smith said he'd heard of Renkens off and on over the past years, so when the author was scheduled for a 90-minute appearance in Prescott last year, he sent two of his PHS coaches to listen.
"Both came back impressed with him and said he provided a lot of good information in an entertaining way," Smith said.
In addition to the appearance in Prescott, Renkens has made presentations in Tucson and Winslow.
Tucson Canyon Del Or Athletic Director John Nesbitt said, "If you have the opportunity (to hear Renkens) don't miss it. The information is invaluable."
Renkens also has spoken to audiences around the United States.
Years ago, when PHS was much smaller, the services of Renkens might not have been a top priority, Smith said. But as the school grows and more students are choosing to continue their athletic careers at the next level, Renkens' advice and expertise could prove invaluable, he added.
Renkens is the founder of Recruiting Realities, an organization that educates and motivates coaches, counselors, parents and student-athletes in the collegiate recruiting process.
He said he formed his organization to help erase the large number of myths that surround the athletic recruiting process.
In his presentation to the Payson audience, Renkens is scheduled to answer queries on the value of academics in recruiting, what avenues are available for student athletes who are not being recruited, and unheard of opportunities available to high school athletes. He'll also talk about the importance of NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA recruiting standards and how college programs obtain athletes' names and addresses for their initial recruiting.
Renkens also provides a four-year high school step-by-step process and information on how to research schools that meet an athlete's academic and athletic interest and how to get into their recruiting pools.
Suggestions are also offered on how students can be funded by schools that do not offer athletic-related aid.
Renkens is slated to provide hints on which camps and clinics to attend to help athletes gain more all-important exposure and how to schedule home visits from recruiters.