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Seniors Concluding Memorable Careers

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 13, 1998

The 1997-98 prep season is drawing to a close and sports banquets are being held throughout the parishes to recognize the athletes who have represented their schools over the past year.

All of the athletes who have participated in sports are usually recognized in some way. But the most special recognition is usually reserved for theseniors, those athletes who have played their last games for their respective schools.

These athletes have all contributed to their schools in some way, whether it be as one of the team’s leaders or as a squadman. All can look back attheir careers with a feeling of accomplishments.

These young men and women have felt the thrill of victory and cried the tears of defeat. Many have climbed the ladder, going from inexperiencedfreshmen trying to make the team to becoming a main component of that team. To them, it probably seems just like yesterday when they firststepped onto the playing field, hoping to impress their coaches.

They have provided memories that will be recalled by their schools and supporters for years to come. They have left their mark in the recordbooks, but the more indelible mark may have been the ones they have left in our minds and hearts as well. Years from now, there will still be fansasking each other, “Hey, do you remember back in 1998 when…”.Over the years, the seniors have played in some unforgettable games, creating moments that will not soon be forgotten. They have continuedlong-time rivalries and began new ones, but all in good nature. They haveled their teams to district championships, playoff games, state tournaments and state championships.

Years from now, these men and women will have stories to tell their children and grandchildren. The exact details may fade a little but theseyears will become a part of them that they can carry for the rest of their lives.

These seniors have experienced all these memories because they have stuck through the thick and thin, enduring practices in all sorts of weather. They have spent long nights trying to combine academics andathletics, overcome injuries and obstacles and felt the pain of heartbreaking losses. But through it all, they have persevered and for thatthey should truly be honored.

There is a saying at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis that states”Those who stay will become winners.” These young men and women arecertainly winners, both on and off the field.

My wish for them is that they take more than just their awards and trophies on their journey in life. That they also take what they havelearned from their parents and their coaches, the discipline, the teamwork and the friendships they have made that have contributed to those honors.

That they pass all that on to future generations so that they too can gain from their experiences over the last four years.

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