Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sports Talk: Saying Farewell Early On

As a correspondent sports writer for The Casey County News, I write an weekly editorial column for the publication. Published Oct. 16, 2013. 
It often seems the "in-between" seasons go much faster than winter and summer. The days of perfect weather are limited and the beauty of the changing natural world are brief so we must soak them up while we can. 

With the fleeting fall, it also seems fall sports move rapidly. The beginning of this month already saw the conclusion of our golf team's schedules and last week the volleyball and football teams both hosted their final home games and celebrated senior night.

Spring time always brings for lots of sadness in saying farewell to seniors, but it seems a little overlooked in the fall, when several months of school and graduation still lay in the distance. I was involved in numerous sports in different ways during my high school career--basketball, football--but track and field was my number one. While I did run cross country, my senior season was actually the first time Casey had an actual team in years, so it mainly just felt a lot like a different form of fall training.

In some ways I think it might be harder for the seniors who have to say goodbye to their sport in the fall than those in the spring. By spring, everyone is saying goodbye, whether it be to a sport, a club, classes, friends...high school in general. Everyone is sharing the same sentiments as the end of so much draws near.

The fall still looks to many adventures for a senior year, but these athletes already have to let go of something that has likely been (and will always be) a big part of who they are. Sure they will still be going to class and seeing their teammates frequently for another seven months, but putting on the uniform and giving the blood, sweat and tears at practice and games is coming to a close. I suppose those involved in these sports are the only ones who really understand the difficulty there is in doing so sooner rather than later in their senior years. Perhaps it brings a new sense of reality of all they will be saying farewell to in the coming months.

Some of the sports do not get the traditional senior night--golf, cross country and soccer. Given, this year, there are two seniors collectively among those sports, but it makes their exit no less difficult or meaningful. Even the cheerleaders, who have a competition season ahead as well as basketball, had an ending of sorts. Playing--and cheering--under the lights, in everything from hot to cold weather--is special. I can't put my finger on what it is, but anyone who has experienced it knows it's true. It was also obvious at the VolleyReb senior night how difficult it will be to see the season end for the group of eight seniors themselves, as well as their coaches and teammates.

While home game activity for Rebel and Lady Rebel athletics has concluded for the fall, not all of the teams are done with their seasons and those seniors still have ambitious goals for how they will conclude their careers. Be sure to show them your support in one way or another, even if you cannot attend their road events. And if you see any of them out and about in the community, congratulate them on their career of wearing the Rebel colors with pride.

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