Senior Athletes Miss Final Season

Ireland Shelton, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Senior Arnav Nanga has been on the volleyball team for four years; however, his year he won’t get a senior season. He played volleyball for the last time junior year, and he didn’t even know.  

This is what millions of high school seniors are experiencing right now.  

Spring athletes have lost their seasons due to the pandemic and are missing out on playing the sport they love for the last time. 

 Some are petitioning to postpone seasons until the summer and praying that will get the chance to play at least one more time. These athletes are dedicated to their sport and are heartbroken to have to give it up.  

“Whenever [volleyball] season comes around, school always takes a different energy,” Nanga said.  

High school sports are important to the community and especially to the students who participate.  

“High school sports are important because they give students an opportunity to be a part of their school and community in a non-academic way,” senior soccer player Payton Strausberger said. 

High school sports teach valuable life lessons and skills.  

“I have learned how to manage being an athlete and a student at the same time,” senior dance team member Hannah Doody said. “This will help me with time management in the future.”  

Some athletes were granted captain positions during their time at North which taught them how to be a leader. Senior dance Alli Rux was a captain of the dance team for two years.  

“I have learned important leadership qualities and also how to carry myself respectfully, despite the outcomes of competition,” Rux said.  

Athletes play for years and over time start to acquire lessons from their coaches.  

“They teach leadership, teamwork and communication to students, something that will be necessary in their lives as adults,” Nanga said.  

Some of these coaches act as mentors for their athletes. Many upperclassmen will also take underclassmen under their wing.  

“Volleyball [has] introduced me to new people and also given me great role models as well,” Nanga said. 

They’ve also learned not only how to succeed, but also how to deal with losses and rejection.  

“I have learned that if you control your actions and mindset, you can accomplish anything no matter what is happening around you,” Strausberger said.  

Athletes have also learned the definition of hard work and what it can do.  

“I learned to not be overconfident and rather than waiting to be given results, I worked for them,” Nanga said. “If I hadn’t worked as hard as I did sophomore to junior year, I would have never been able to make varsity then. I’m forever thankful for that.”  

Sports have also given athletes more confidence.  

“[I’ve learned] to always believe in my own abilities,” senior soccer player Ashley Clark said. 

While sports have been a positive experience for most seniors, like everything, they come with some negatives.  

“On top of schoolwork and home stuff, it gets hard to juggle at times, but I love my sport so I can manage,” Nanga said.  

Before high school, a lot of athletes played outside of school for a club team. The kids they played with came from all different schools and cities. Upon entering high school, students got the opportunity to play their favorite sports with their classmates. Playing sports in high school allows students to meet people they have not have without the sport and form memorable friendships. 

“Volleyball [has] introduced me to new people and also given me great role models as well,” Nanga said. 

Strausberger concurs. “High school sports have allowed me to create closer friendships with my classmates and meet a lot of new people throughout my high school experience,” Strausberger said.  

Some of these seniors have played together for a while so their senior season is the last time they get to be with these teammates.  

“I’ve been in the same program as Nick [Woolley] and Matt [Finn] since 7th grade,” Nanga said. “That’s probably the biggest thing that high school sports has over college.” 

Many senior athletes will miss the friendships the most. They have spent years with their teammates bonding over long practices, wins, losses and lots of memories. Some also say it will be sad to leave these friends next year.  

“I will miss the friendships I have made with girls on the team the most,” Rux said. “I know that they will always be there for me though.”