In the Clutch: Is this a new beginning or an end for graduating athletes?

Kaleb Kittinger-Munro, Editor

   Is this the end or the start of a new beginning? This is the question many senior athletes, including myself, must encounter at some point this year.

  This is where we must decide whether we will continue sports after high school or if it is time for us to end it for good. It is a terrifying feeling that a sport that has been a part of the majority of our life may never again be played.  

   It feels like just the other day, I was in fifth grade playing baseball for the first time, but now I am about to go into my senior spring season.

   Spring sports may spark more emotion than fall sports because if athletes play both a fall and spring sport, they still get to look forward to the spring sport once the fall season has ended. When the spring sport is over, seniors must face that there is no next season. No more opportunities exist to make memories. 

   Some high school athletes have found their way onto a college roster and bought themselves more time, but playing in college can become very stressful when combined with a college workload. Regardless, losing a sport can ultimately make an athlete feel like they are losing a part of themselves. 

   If it is the end, then it is time to show appreciation for what we have experienced as athletes and those who have helped us get where we are today. 

   The skills we developed along the way, both as people and as athletes, would not be the way they are now without the help of the coaches we have had beside us on this long journey.

   We must appreciate our parents or guardians who have taken us to many practices and games. The parents who would speed home to grab the shoes, racket, or glove that we often forgot on the porch.

   Without the support of parents or guardians, almost no athlete would be where they are today, whether that is them going to college to continue their career or if it is time for them to hang it up. 

   Each athlete must also show appreciation to the friends and family who supported them at games. The same friends we played sports with and shared countless memories with. Without them, we may have quit a long time ago. 

   When the spring season is finally over, the memories will flood in, and each athlete must decide if they will sink in the sadness or swim in the joy of all the history. I will choose joy.