GFA senior Charlie Yates knew he wanted to go to a top academic school to play soccer.
Colgate University certainly fit the bill and there was an extra caveat that made the Raiders a front runner: One of Yates’ No. 1 fans was already on campus.
Older brother Max Yates ’21, a two-sport standout for the Dragons, plays lacrosse at Colgate, so Charlie had already been on campus multiple times and was very familiar with the school’s athletic program.
“So, for my recruitment process, the main criteria was to go to the best academic place possible,” Charlie Yates said. “With that said, I did want to play for a Division 1 program. Colgate was the best mixture of that.”
This fall, Yates confirmed his college decision when he signed an NCAA Letter of Intent to play at Colgate, joining his older brother at the Hamilton, N.Y. based school.
While Yates had plenty of familiarity with the school, but it was the Colgate coaching staff that ultimately won him over.
“When it came down to deciding between other schools I was talking to, I really valued the coaching staff,” he said. “Starting in the summer of my junior year, they would always check in with me consistently and it really seemed like they valued me.”
Yates played soccer at GFA for two years before making the commitment to playing the sport year-round at the academy level.
While he was torn to miss out on this year’s New England championship run, the support he still received from head coach Chris Mira was important to his growth as a player and a person.
“I do wish I could have played and help us win that championship, but (academy soccer) was just the best option for me to keep getting better,” Yates said. “Coach Mira was amazing with me. I wasn’t the best soccer player as a freshman and I didn’t get a lot time, but he really helped shape me not just as a player but as a young man.”
In fact, Yates added, he is certain his entire GFA experience has helped prepare him to be a successful college athlete.
“I’ve been here since sixth grade and I I think this place has helped shape me as a student,” he said. “I came to really value academics and small learning environment here has academically enlightened me and helped me know what I wanted out of school. I think Colgate is very similar to this place.”
This fall, Colgate University will become even more familiar with another member of the Yates family, as well.