Birmingham man starts recruiting Web site for under-the-radar prospects.
When Jim Cavale wanted to take his dream of playing college baseball down South, the New Yorker had to sell himself over the phone and through conventional mail.
He did that well enough to earn a scholarship at Montevallo, the Division II power south of Birmingham.
Now he’s trying to make the process for under-the-radar prospects easier. Cavale is the founder of Eporro.com, a new recruiting Web site for high school students in Alabama and New York that’s intended as an athletic matchmaking service, of sorts.
It differs from most other recruiting services in that the paying customers are high schools, its primary beneficiaries are second-tier rather than elite athletes, and it serves all sports.
“The goal is to make it easier for the kids to get to the next level,” said Cavale, a Birmingham resident who hosts and produces a weekly online show for the Gulf South Conference and is a fixture as a sports broadcaster on sidelines throughout the state. “When more (high) schools join, we’ll have a bigger database. And the more (college) coaches who use it, the more effective we’ll be.”
Right now, Eporro, which expanded to Alabama in September, is focused on selling memberships to Alabama high schools and school systems. In New York, the Web site sells directly to students.
In Alabama, Hoover and Spain Park, Lincoln and Birmingham City Schools are among those that have already signed on, paying an undisclosed fee. The larger the high school, the higher the cost to join.
Seventeen Alabama high schools have signed up so far, and the service’s database includes “hundreds” of prep athletes, Cavale said.
“Our goal is to raise that number to the thousands.”
Cavale is scheduled to speak before members of the Alabama High School Athletic Association at an April meeting of athletics directors. There is a proposal to make the service available at all AHSAA schools….