Blog: Senior Night brings all the emotions


Photo by Keira Apple

Feeling all the emotions getting recognized Senior Night for basketball.

Emion Byers, Arts & Entertainment Editor

 Bittersweet. Emotional. Surreal. Just a few words to describe the raw emotions of senior night.

  Most people might think of senior night as just a tradition. Something that everyone does. One might not recognize the true emotions behind senior night.

  Senior night takes place in sports all across America. This is a night specifically designed to honor the seniors on the team and their families who support them.

  The way senior nights are held can vary between each sport, but have the same meaning. To honor the hard work and dedication that seniors have put into their sport over the years.

  In most cases, seniors play a major role on their athletic team. Since seniors are on the team the longest, they learn the ins and outs of their sport quicker than other teammates. This allows for seniors to be a role model to others on the team. When others on the team have questions, they go to the seniors for an answer. Seniors are there to pick up their teammates to help lead the path of success for their teams.

  Not only is the actual senior night hard emotionally, but so is the preparation before. Before the big night, you are given the task of making your write-up for when you walk across the field, or in my case, the court. I listed other activities I’ve contributed to over my years at the school, my plans for after graduation, and a letter to my teammates and coaches.

  When Mrs. Matthews, our athletic director, sent me the email with the lists of questions I told her I was going to push off answering them until the last minute. It wasn’t like I didn’t want to answer them because I was lazy. It was because I didn’t want to face the fact that this was really happening. I was really a senior. I was really about to play in one of my final games of my high school basketball career.

  I remember every time Mrs. Matthews saw that she would get on me to email her back. Of course, I didn’t listen to her because I’m hard headed. But because I didn’t want to face reality yet. I wanted to enjoy the other games that were leading up to senior night and soak up every memory that I could.

  The time finally came for me to answer the questions. So for twenty minutes, I wrote my answers while waiting for our last away game of the regular season to start.  I was with my teammates while answering the questions.  And I wasn’t going to show my emotions just yet. It was hard because all of the special memories from over the years kept coming to mind. How could I describe the past nine years in three questions?

  This year was especially hard for me as a senior because of my past two seasons. Last year, I ended up breaking my wrist which caused me to miss 10 out of 15 of our games. Our season was already shortened due to the pandemic. In a normal season we have closer to 20 regular season games, not counting the playoffs.

  Although I wasn’t able to play last year, I still went to every practice and game to support my teammates. As you can imagine, only playing in five games was hard for me but my teammates were always there to cheer me up and made me feel included.

  Coming off of a season ending injury, I was ready to finish strong this year as a senior. Of course, that plan didn’t quite go through as well as I wanted it to. Midway through the season, I found out that I had appendicitis which led to me getting my appendix removed that same day. At this point, I had already played eight games, which was more than I was allowed to play in my previous season, but the news still hit me hard. Fortunately, I only missed five games this season, so I stayed positive and looked forward to coming back.

  Although these hardships took a toll on me, I learned a lot of valuable lessons. I learned that things can change in a blink of an eye, to never take things for granted, to stay positive through the hard times, and that my team was there for me no matter what.

  These valuable lessons helped shape me into the person I am today both on and off the court. As a senior, I knew that once I came back to play I truly had to give it my all because now I never know which game could be my last.

  On Senior Night, my name was called and I was escorted by my parents on to the half court where we met Coach Stanley. He gave me a hug and then one of my teammates gave me a gift:  a cup, some letters, and flowers. When my name was called, I teared up.  Usually, when I’m on the court I try to have no emotions. But on Senior Night, it was like I couldn’t hold back my emotions. I was growing up and leaving high school and leaving behind all my friends whom I’ve known for seven years. That night and the games that have followed are the last memories that we will build together. I was happy that we still got to play games together. But it was hard because I knew that they were the last games we were going to play together.