Not all seniors can go on to play on Division I teams or earn scholarships to college. Some athletes who may have played sports their whole childhood have had to make decisions about what to focus on after graduation — and whether sports will still be a part of their lives. (Mackenzie Sroka)
Not all seniors can go on to play on Division I teams or earn scholarships to college. Some athletes who may have played sports their whole childhood have had to make decisions about what to focus on after graduation — and whether sports will still be a part of their lives.

Mackenzie Sroka

It all comes to an end

As another school year comes to a close, some senior athletes say goodbye to their sports as well

May 11, 2023

The final play. The final day. The final game. 

Four years in high school. Eight years before high school. One sport that has always been there. The passion, the drive, have always been there, for one sport. 

However, for some seniors, the next four years will be without that sport. All of the hard work and dedication comes to an end. 

As the MCHS school year comes to an end, many senior athletes are putting an end to their athletic career. Most senior athletes will not be playing a sport in college, which can make their senior season even more special but sad. 

“I’ve really cherished my experience playing,” says Mara Torres, a senior varsity soccer player who has been playing soccer since she was six, “and I’ve learned so many valuable life lessons about being a leader, pushing myself, and never giving up.”

Moving on is not a bad thing to do and eventually the time will come when it needs to or does come to an end. Not playing sports in college is a completely normal thing, whether it is from not getting recruited or just simply not wanting to play anymore.

A website called Scholarship Stats reports that a little over 7% of high school athletes — about 1 in 13 — go on to play a varsity sport in college. Fewer than 2% of high school athletes — or 1 in 57 — go on to play at NCAA Division I schools.

However, athletes that will not be playing in college need to be careful. Students that are going away for college, need to be even more careful to maintain their mental health. 

According to the website The Local Optimist, “Most high school athletes lose their sense of purpose and have low self-esteem issues in college. Athletes attribute their happiness to their respective sports. This can lead to depression, stress, substance abuse and loneliness, and many find it difficult to start new hobbies that lack the clear-cut goals of sport.”

Student athletes need to be aware of the affects of no longer playing a sport, when transitioning into college. While at college and before, it is recommended that former student athletes still maintain staying active. 

The Local Optimist also writes, that it is important for a former athlete to develop and maintain a workout regimen for their mental health, “even if they don’t have a sport to stay fit for. If students miss the competition aspect of sports, join either intramural sports or pick up games so that they can enjoy the sport without the training, practice, or nutrition guidelines that come with being a part of a highly competitive team.”

It is important that current student athletes are proactive and plan ahead how they will remain active. But it is also important to find ways to maintain their passion that their sport gave them. 

“I plan on continuing to workout and play in a men’s league,” says Justin Karcz, a varsity baseball player. “I also plan on staying involved, whether it be through coaching or umpiring.”

As the final game and the final day of high school athletes comes for students, they need to maintain positive while they transition into college. There are many different ways and aspects to fill the gap left without their sport, which is necessary to do when they enter college or out of high school life. 

“This season, I have really appreciated and taken every moment in because soon it’ll be my last,” Torres days. “Soccer has provided so much for me, amazing teammates, coaches, supporters from my amazing family, and lovely memories.  Although I’m not ready to fully give it up, it’s time for me to move on to bigger and better things.”

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About the Contributor
Photo of Mackenzie Sroka
Mackenzie Sroka, Editor In Chief
Mackenzie Sroka is a senior at McHenry High School's Upper Campus. She enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, playing soccer and golf, and photography. This is Mackenzie's fourth year on the Messenger's staff.


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