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I have been involved in several senior night celebrations, both as a basketball and softball player and as a softball coach. Each time, it was an emotional time that I still remember to this day.
As a player, I was filled with all sorts of emotions. I was excited to move on to new things, but I was also saddened by the fact that I didn't have much time left to play with the group that I had been playing with for a long time. I still have fond memories made with the group of girls I played basketball and softball with in high school, and also of my time playing college softball. On each senior night, I remember having that extra adrenaline out on the court or field, just wanting so badly to win that last home game. But win or lose, it was still a special night for me.
As a coach, I remember having to speak about the seniors that I had coached each year. I was excited for those senior girls and the futures they would have, but sad to see them leave the team. But yet again, it was a special time, and I could relate to how those seniors were feeling.
Friday night, I witnessed a senior night at Marion County High School, where 20 seniors were recognized from cheerleading, boys and girls basketball, golf, swimming, and band. Some of the seniors had participated in their particular sport for the four years they had been at the high school, and others had been with their group for years before that. Some of these seniors had achieved high honors while competing in their sport, but everyone had special memories that were shared as they walked onto the court.
As each senior was announced and escorted by their families onto the basketball court in front of the crowd, you could tell that this was a special night for all of them. I am sure for some of these athletes that it was bittersweet, as it was when I was a senior, but they seemed to enjoy the night.
I asked one senior, girls basketball player Emily Fenwick, what senior night meant to her and how she felt Friday night as she competed in one of her last home basketball games at Marion County High School.
"I've been playing with most of these girls since the third grade, and it didn't hit me until right before the game that it is almost over," Fenwick said. "I've had a lot of fun and I'm really going to miss it."
These seniors have provided many memorable moments throughout their tenure at Marion County High School, and will take many fond memories with them no matter which path they take after graduation. I hope that Friday night was a special time for each of the seniors involved, and I want to wish each of them the best of luck after graduation.