Senior Fall Athletes Say Goodbye
Senior year is the culmination of three years of achieving, striving, and conquering. It is also the year students reflect on just how quickly high school races by, yet how much is left to do: SATs, college applications, ISTEP, prom, and finally, graduation. For the student athlete there is also the added emotion of the last first game of the season and last last game of the season. Student-athletes spend a significant portion of their high school career in pre-season conditioning, practicing and playing only to find themself suddenly, well, finished. No practice, no game, no grind.
Whether it is cheering one last time, scoring one last touchdown, goal, spike, or pinning one more opponent, it is never easy facing that final goodbye. With only two percent of high school athletes competing at the college level, according to the NCAA, it really is a final goodbye.
Reflecting over the years as a student athlete can spark many proud moments. Some memories include the winning score while others are more personal. “I’m most proud of never having played soccer before my sophomore year, yet becoming a varsity starter in two years, enduring two injuries and working my way back. I am proud of my journey,” senior soccer defender Chloe Garrett said. Garrett plays varsity soccer, is an officer in National Honor Society(NHS), in Students Making A Change(SMAC), and the Spanish Club.
Achieving success in academics as well as sports takes special skills. Madison Anderson, senior dance team member, said, “I balanced school and sports and that bettered me as a person.”
The benefits of and lessons learned through taking part in school sports are numerous. Senior boys soccer play Nick Bulla said, “As a team we greatly improved our record, but most of all we created a brotherhood that will endure for the rest of our lives.”
“I’m proud of myself for not giving up on a sport that I’ve loved since I was young even though I did not make it in middle school,” Katherine Grover said. Grover is a cheerleader, is on the lacrosse team, and is one of the wrestling managers. Grover is also part of S.M.A.C., NHS, and is the student council president. “I feel like when I came in freshman year, I was a player that was slow and not strong enough to do much but as the years went on, I got quicker and my strength increased to where I was able to letter in multiple sports all the way back from sophomore year to hopefully my senior year,” senior Colin Fee said.
Seniors take their leadership roles seriously on and off the field. They often have words of wisdom to hand down to the underclassmen student-athletes. “Listen to your coaches and never take anything for granted,” Varsity football player Braxton Kovatch replied. “No matter how hard it is and all the times you wanna quit, keep trying your best and your hard work will be recognized,” Jordan Keltz said. Keltz is on the volleyball team and part of Champions Together.
Senior cross country runner Dylan Williams said, “believe in the process and believe in your teammates. Every mile, every workout and every long run is so worth it in the end.”
Anderson reflected, “Listen to your coach and seniors. Also, push yourself. You’ll never realize how fun it all is until it’s gone.” Tyler Blackmar, varsity football defensive tackle and catcher for the baseball team, said, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to people you’ve spent the last four years with. Don’t let it slip by too fast. This is the most fun you’ll have for a long time.” Garrett added, “Enjoy it while it lasts. You won’t realize it’s your last bus, your last team dinner, last chance to appreciate everything until it is.”