Bitter Sweet


Hannah Simmer, Writer

Everyone has always come to the end of something. For Rocky students, the ending of a high school career with a sport is very difficult. Senior Night is a way to honor the athletes for all of their hard work they have done throughout the whole season. It honors the best and worst parts of every sport.

Sports like volleyball and swimming receive gifts from younger athletes. “My teammates gave me a picture frame, and each wrote a special note to me that brought me to tears and made the night so special,” said Raghen Walker (volleyball). Volleyball also had each senior assigned to their own table, where they could bring a poster with pictures and anything special that symbolizes themselves or their sport. “With volleyball,” Raghen explained, “I believe the hardest part is court awareness. This means having to understand the spots open on your side of the court to cover, and knowing the holes on the opponent’s side to know where and how to score.” When thinking of it this way, you can see all sports have their challenges. 

With swimming, Senior Night is a little different. “The announcer introduced us one by one and we walked out on the pool deck. We received gifts from the juniors, underclassmen, and the coaches,” explained Anna Rowell (swimming). Anna made a huge point to how much she appreciates what all the coaches have done. “I will miss hanging with Dave, Andy, and Rebecca (the coaches), and the other girls on the team,” said Anna. In the end, Anna said the hardest part of her sport is not actually doing her sport, but waking up for the 6am practices they have four times a week. This reflects that no matter how hard each sport gets, there’s always a reason for the athletes to come back each day.

        Under the Friday Night Lights, the football team celebrated their Senior Night by “walking out with your parents and giving flowers to the parents of your choice,” said Jaiden VanCoillie (football). They have their night as a short little appreciation for their parents, more than themselves. Especially for this team, the realization of their last home game was so hard. “I’ve been playing with the same 13 kids since freshman year,” exclaimed Jaiden. The team created during the summer, if you’ve never been to the stadium…. DO NOT GO. Between the turf and the metal bleachers, it creates an atmosphere of about two times hotter than what it already is. Sadly, for Jaiden’s team, they have to practice in it. “The hardest part about football would be practicing through May-July,” said Jaiden. Each summer, it has been known that the boys’ practices are torture. Each year though, this is when the football team gets tough.

On the same field, the soccer boys have their Senior Night by, “Making posters with our coaches’ help and circling around the Rock for a speech,” said Isaac Almanza (soccer). This year, the soccer team has made history! This was the first year ever they have won Conference. What was even more amazing was the game that decided who were the Conference Champions happened to be their Senior Night! Even though Isaac says, “Conditioning is the hardest part,” it is with great belief that is a huge reason behind all of the wins they took, besides the amazing talent.

What is most amazing is how each athlete said something along the lines of how their team felt like another family. Each of the athletes’ favorite memories weren’t along the lines of Senior Nights at all, but about the amazing culture the team created around them. It is amazing that Rocky carries that throughout each sport. Each ‘family’ spread a bitter sweetness to the end of all the seniors’ seasons and created life long friends.