Class of 2021, first, let me start off by saying that I am very sorry that your senior year has gone this way. No one saw this coming, and you all deserved to have your senior seasons, just like everyone else. I'm hoping this letter inspires some of you to continue chasing your dreams.
Whether you're an athlete, band member, or associated with any extracurricular activity, this pandemic has most likely affected you in one way or another this year. Your senior year of high school is supposed to be the "last hoorah" in your youth; the end of childhood, and beginning of adulthood. However, most of you have had to worry whether or not you'd even be allowed to have this year, and you all deserve better.
Many of us wish that there was a magical cure for this rapidly spreading virus, or that an extra year of eligibility could be given to high school athletes, but unfortunately, that's not the case. As I write this piece, I am preparing to cover high school playoffs, knowing that there are young men who are unaware that tonight will be the last time they ever play football, and it's heartbreaking.
Most of you seniors are going to be hanging them up for good after the season comes to it's conclusion. Just remember what you've learned throughout your time in sports. Sports impart on us a multitude of great qualities that we rarely realize we acquired from playing sports, until much later in life.
Remember all the things your coaches have taught you. Work hard, practice, be a good teammate, when you mess up -- own it, when you think you're good enough -- work even harder, do the best you can in everything you do, discipline, and much much more. Remember all of the good and the bad from your time playing ball. Remember the early morning practices, the two-a-days, and the late practices. Remember those close games that you lost in the district, remember being the underdog, remember getting blown out at home by another team, remember hitting the buzzer-beater, remember grinding and fighting to win over a team that should have demolished you. Remember it all.
But, most importantly, remember your teammates. Most of your friendships probably go far beyond the court, field, or track. Always remember traveling, playing, and working hard along side your brothers and sisters. Remember being late to class because you were talking in the hallways, remember dragging into school every morning hating life because you'd have rather been in bed. These days go by in a flash, and it only gets faster from here, and those are the memories that you will look back on with reverence.
Those of you that have the chance to continue playing college sports, revel in it. Because the majority of you will be living out your dreams as parents, in back yards and driveways with your children in the future, talking to them about the "glory days" of high school.
We are all very proud of you, and we wish things would have went completely differently. Always cherish the time that you spent with people that you will never forget. No matter how far you go in life, always look back on your time in school, and smile. Congratulations, class of 2021, you made it.