The Final Play
High school sports, pre-season workouts, tryouts, home opener, season games, senior night. What do all of these dates lead up to? They’re leading up to that final night, the night when a senior plays in the last high school game of his or her life.
You’ve dedicated four years of high school to one, two or three sports and now you’ve reached your fourth and final season. Sure, in the beginning of the season you’re not thinking about the end. It’s far away, and you have more important things to worry about, like the home opening game and the entire season that lies ahead. However, slowly but surely the night of your final game will get closer, and seniors must find a way to approach it.
For many, preparation is both a physical and mental affair. Of course they’ll be in top playing condition, but that’s pretty much a given. They’ve had all season to prepare physically for the game. Mentally however, there are a couple of steps you can take. The first is to tell friends and family about the game. Having the support of your fans always makes playing more enjoyable.
Also, it usually has the effect of making you play harder. Depending on how close your team is, a get together could be perfect. This could be something like going out to a restaurant or just playing video games at someone’s house. You would have the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company as well as get pumped up for the final game. Above all else, just be certain to have a good time and enjoy yourself. Sr. Amanda Paulsen said, “I am definitely going to take it very seriously. I know one game will not define my high school career, but I want to be sure I give it all I have. You’re only a Knight once.”
For others, they may choose to treat it like any other game. They’ll make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before and eat a healthy breakfast and pre-game meal. Then, they’ll show up early to warm up for the game, going through their usual stretches and exercises. As the clock ticks towards the start of the game, they’ll get dressed and put on the Jersey they’ve proudly worn all season. Then, they will line up with their teammates, walk onto the field and play their hearts out.
Oftentimes, this day comes on senior night, a night dedicated to the seniors who are the backbone of the team. While standing next to their parents, they get recognized for their hard work and determination. Also, they get to share their favorite moments that they’ve had with the team.
So, to wrap it all up, just because it’s your last time playing with your team doesn’t mean you should despair. You will always have the memories and the friendships. Also, for many sports, even though your high school season is done doesn’t mean you have to be done with your sport. In the words of Sr. Ryan, “Although I cannot compete in cross country anymore, I can still run on my own…which is one of the reasons I like the sport so much.” Remember, have a good time and kick some butt.