The spring sports season always accompanies the end of the school year, but for this year’s graduating class, it marks the end of their high school career too. For some, participation in student athletics has significantly shaped their four years at West Potomac.
“I’ve definitely made different friends because of soccer,” said four-year varsity soccer goalie Lindsay Freewalt. “I talk to underclassmen more — I’ve known people from all classes ever since I’ve been here.”
Friendship accompanying sports is a common theme, but being a student athlete reaps other benefits as well.
“It looks good on college apps, and it’s helped me with my time management,” said softball right/left-fielder Micaela Neulight.
Considering the impact sports have had on these students, it can be hard to let go.
“It makes me really sad [to be almost done with high school sports.] Everytime I think about it I get kind of upset,” Freewalt said. “It’s bittersweet because I know I’m playing in college, but college sports are completely different from high school sports.”
Accompanying this sentimentality is all the attention put on an athlete’s senior year: captainship, senior privileges, and of course, senior night. With these perks, however, comes the pressure to do well.
“This season I want to be all state in the mile,” all-year runner Zach Lindsey said.
It comes as no surprise that athletes want their senior season to be best they’ve had, so the team can end their last season of high school sports feeling proud and successful.
“I hope we win a lot of games and the conference,” baseball center left Patrick Aitken said.
Placing first in the conference is also a constant goal for many sports.
“I think this is one of the best teams that has come through,” Freewalt said. “We definitely have a chance to win the conference and go far.”
Even if the season isn’t particularly successful for these seniors, they do have one thing to look forward to: senior night.
“Senior night is important to recognize everything that the seniors have done,” Freewalt said. “They’ve worked hard and contributed a lot to make the team better.”
Senior night traditionally includes posters in the seniors’ honor, gifts from the team, and being escorted by family.
“It’s a big commitment to play sports all four years of high school,” Neulight said. “Senior night is a celebration of that.”