Senior athletes hang up their jerseys

Senior year of high school involves many “lasts” for students.  One aspect of high school life that usually plays an influential role in forming a student during high school is participation in a sport.  Often times, love for a sport stems from early childhood, and students invest vast amounts of time dedicated to their craft.  However, the end of a senior season often marks the end of the road for those not continuing to play collegiately.

Senior Tommy Sanker has played soccer since he was four years old.  In his last year on the soccer team, he led as a captain and enjoyed growing closer with his teammates.  “I’m really going to miss the whole team aspect, it’s really something else. It’s actually a second family and it’s incredibly sad to think I’ll never really experience that again,” Sanker said.  Although his senior season is over, he said that he’ll seek soccer out in one aspect or another throughout life and said that he’s definitely interested in continuing to watch and even coach soccer.  Sanker remarked that his favorite soccer memory was “cabin wars on our West Virginia rafting trip, team bonding practices, war on JV, Alec [Taylor] flipping off the rock and giving himself a concussion…. The whole thing was a bag o’ laughs.”

Senior Emma Hughes is a multi-sport athlete who has already said “goodbye” to her senior year of tennis, though she is currently on the swimming team and will play lacrosse in the spring.  “Tennis has grown my patience and strengthened me mentally and physically through tough, close matches that last three plus hours. It is truly a mental game.” Hughes said.

She added, “I am so sad that tennis is over. I have been taking private lessons from one tennis pro for 6 years, and I haven’t seen him since the season ended, because since competition is over, I don’t need lessons. I feel like a huge part of my life has ended.”  Her favorite memories include playing at the Western and Southern ATP tennis court in Mason and last year where she played center court, “where all of the famous players have played!”  As for future plans, Hughes says even though her high school season is over, she looks to find ways to play in one capacity or another.

Anna Enders has been running her whole life, but said she really found a running home on the McNicholas Cross Country Team.  She has enjoyed the comradery of the runners, and said it was a great way to stay in shape.  “Even though you’d think of running [as] an individual sport, it is not.  It has really instilled in me life lessons, and I’m going to miss that.”

Enders seeks to not necessarily compete in college, but rather to join a club where she can enjoy that same social aspect while benefitting her physically.  “My favorite thing about my final season was definitely all of the people who I became closer to.… The memories and shared laughs will never be forgotten,” Enders said.

Senior Anna Enders runs in a cross country meet at St. Xavier High School, where she set her personal record. Enders said the best part about her senior year was her fellow cross country runners, and that she’s always going to remember the fun memories she’s experienced with them.

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