Senior days honor graduating athletes

Rollin Amore and Zach Isaacs

“Senior days” are one of the biggest moments of many high school sports seasons. They take place near the end of the season and honor the seniors who are playing one of their last high school games. Each team has different ways to honor their seniors, from presenting the players with flowers to inviting parents onto the field.

Field hockey coach Sarah Whitener keeps her senior day positive and upbeat. “As a coach, I write a tribute to each senior, and usually the athletic director reads each tribute over the PA as the senior runs through an archway of crossed field hockey sticks held up by her younger teammates. From there she receives her poster and flower.” The senior game is a time for commemoration, excitement, and, hopefully, victory. Whitener also said, “It’s sweet to win, especially because we don’t win all the time. The excitement from the girls reveals how great it is for them. How many times will they have that kind of teamwork in their futures?”

She also talked about how seeing a player grow as a person and a field hockey player is a real joy, knowing that she was a part of that. It’s a bittersweet experience, seeing the graduating players move on to better things, but, Whitener says, “It’s fun to see the new team learn to play together. I always miss our seniors who have graduated, yet there are always younger players who step up and lead the team in their own way.” 

The football team has its own spin on senior day traditions. When talking to head coach Mark Martin, he explained, “For the seniors, we usually let them walk out on the field with their parents at halftime, you know we appreciate the parents. We’ll get a poster with their name saying Woodrow Wilson Football Class of 2020, and for the ones that play four years, we try to get them a letter.” Coach Martin also expanded on the legacy of football traditions here at Wilson. “It started long before me because we were doing it when I went here. Now as a coach, seeing your kids grow and prosper is the most rewarding part. People tell me it’s about winning, but you win when your kids go to the next level and get degrees, that’s the real deal.”

With Wilson struggling in past senior day games, there is no doubt Coach Martin and the team will want to capitalize on this year’s opportunity. With many standout senior game performances in the past, Martin is looking to win big this year against Eastern and move on to winning a championship next year. “We’ve had a lot of young guys get experience this year. We had six 9th graders start so we are young. Our goal is to win a championship, always, and I think next year we will be a step closer to that goal.” With senior day and tradition on the brink, it will be exciting to see if the Tigers will be able to capitalize in the Class of 2020’s last high school football game.