Seniors say goodbye to their sports


Photo courtesy of Annalise Thaler

“My journey as a high school athlete has definitely not been normal,” said Thaler. The pandemic cut Thaler’s freshman year lacrosse season short and moved her sophomore year field hockey season from summer-fall to winter-spring.

As fall sports athletes play their last few games, an era of high school sports comes to an emotional close. Senior athletes, especially, reflect on their experiences.

“[The last games were] definitely emotional,” said senior Annalise Thaler. “It didn’t feel real too, and I kinda never fully realized that it was over.”

Thaler played lacrosse and field hockey and is now committed to playing D1 lacrosse at Saint Joseph’s University. Although her field hockey career is now concluded, she is looking forward to new athletic experiences in college.

“I am really excited and cannot wait to live out my dream since fifth grade and actually play all the players I watch on TV,” said Thaler. “Saint Joe’s field hockey team was ranked number nine this year in the NCAA, so I definitely will be catching some games!” 

While fall sports have wrapped up for the year, many senior athletes still have seasons left to finish. Winter sports such as Swim and Dive, Boys and Girls Basketball, Gymnastics, Indoor Track and Field, and Wrestling will continue  until the spring season. 

“We haven’t come to the end of our season yet, so I don’t think [the finality] has hit me quite yet,” said senior Kallie Glass. 

Glass swims for the Swim and Dive team. Although she will not compete for an official college team like Thaler, there are other ways to continue playing after high school. Many different paths are available to compete, even for those whose college doesn’t have a team for their sport of choice. 

“I plan on competing at the club level in college because it will allow me to maintain focus on my academics while also being able to travel and compete in the sport I play,” said Glass. 

Despite differing journeys, both athletes share similar sentiments when it comes to advice for athletes just starting their high school careers. 

“For younger athletes: never stop hustling, and don’t forget to have fun. Always put [100 percent] of your effort, as you never know what could happen when you hustle,” said Thaler. “If you’re not having fun, don’t force yourself to continue doing that sport, and don’t be afraid to quit or try a new sport. High school is about learning and growing as a person.”

Glass warned of the quick turnaround of athletic seasons and, similar to Thaler, to make the most of experiences that seem everlasting in the moment but are fleeting in reality. 

“Enjoy it while it lasts. The high school season is short, so make the most of it,” said Glass. “If you don’t do your part and input yourself into the team, it won’t be as fun.” 

The too-soon departure from the comfort of a familiar team, coach, and playing environment will differ for every senior athlete. Still, the value gained from playing a high school sport is the same for everyone. 

“High school sports have given me so much experience and made me the person I am today, whether that be hardships or good times,” said Thaler.