McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Saying goodbye

Senior nights are a memorable way for high school athletes to end their seasons
Mackenzie Sroka
Seniors on the girls swim team are honored on the walls of the pool at the Upper Campus. Senior nights, which have already occurred for most fall sports, can be very meaningful and memorable for the athletes, parents, teammates, and coaches.

Walking into the decorated gym, the sight of the student section filled with supporters catches the eye. As the warm hand of each parent upon the either side wraps around the arm, tears fill the eyes. Watching and listening, the teammates read letters off, only increases the tears about to leave the eye. Finally the moment of hearing the future plans of each teammate graduating happens. The tears release from the eyes when the fact of not furthering volleyball is announced since this will be the last game on a team and within high school.  

Senior nights consist of teammates and coaches honoring the seniors on the team. Typically, they consist of the seniors on the team being announced at the game or match, and the underclassmen write letters and give each senior a small gift. For some teams there is more of a unique way to honor seniors based upon their sport. 

“Since I am on the swim team, during our break in the meet, we honored our seniors. We were brought out by our parents to stand on the blocks,” said Allison Tomaszewski, a senior varsity swimmer. “Once we were on the blocks with our parents next to us, we had a teammate that was close to us bring us flowers. We took pictures and were announced by name, what we wanted to do and where we want to go college, along with how long we have been swimming.”

Being honored on senior night can be very meaningful, sad, and a whole mix of emotions for seniors to experience. 

“Senior night was really exciting, but also sad for me. I was very excited to get to experience my own senior night after watching three ones before it,” said Ella Boland, a senior volleyball player. “I wanted to have a great night to remember my last home game at McHenry. Of course senior night was also very sad. It is sad leaving behind the underclassmen that I have gotten to know and become close with.” 

Watching seniors be honored at senior night can even be emotional for underclassmen, but once they become a senior it can become even more emotional for the players. 

“It felt so unexpected and fast,” said Charlie Ortiz, a senior varsity soccer player. “I remember watching my teammates from last year such as Javi Ortiz and Emer Hernandez, and not feeling too many emotions. As I was a senior this year, everything fell down on me and I was on the verge of tears on senior night, but I kept myself together.”

Senior night can be an opportunity for seniors to look back on their high school years and their career as a young athlete. 

“It was very special to me because it allowed me to look back and reflect on all the hard work I have put in over the years and remember all the accomplishments I made with the team,” said Madison Donovan, a senior varsity golfer. “But, I think being a senior and being in the position showed me that being a good person, and demonstrating good leadership to the team is way more rewarding than all the achievements I have had.”

Senior night is something that can be very meaningful and special for coaches, players, and parents. However, not all teams have a senior night to honor their senior athletes. 

“I do wish we had a senior night because as a senior looking at other sports recognizing them with a senior night and seeing that we didn’t get one sucks,” said Bradin Amelio, a senior varsity golfer. “I wish golf was looked at just as much as other sports and was given the opportunity of a senior night.”

Senior night is an opportunity for senior athletes to be appreciated and honored. This can be an important and memorable experience for the students to say goodbye to high school and potentially their particular sport.

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