Seniors In Sports: The Last Hurrah


Kadet Cross Country seniors jogging to cool down after a workout. (Left to Right) Matthew Mettler, Matthew Storer, Eathan Abbs, Justin Banta

“It’s time for you to step up,” is a common saying used by countless elders, authorities and mentors.

Indeed, the last year of high school can prove stressful for many seniors, but they’re stepping up into leadership positions as their final few months begin.

Seniors involved in the vast world of sports know that times will be changing, as captains need to be picked and good attitudes and work ethics need to be shown at all times. Underclassmen are looking up to their seniors, the new leaders.  

Kadet Cross Country veteran, senior Matthew Storer, has been taking action with his duties on the team.

“I have helped underclassmen through workouts and give tips on beneficial running habits,” he said. 

Under the wing of experienced athletes such as Storer, younger team members learn the correct attitude, work ethic and habits that will help them succeed–and with hope, they will use the seniors’ examples and become good leaders in their own time.  

Of course, on the other end of the experience spectrum, there are the freshmen. Each freshman will figure out their niche on their team as they practice and compete throughout the year. By the end of the season, coaches and upperclassmen can expect to see all team members included and embodying the ‘we before me’ attitude.

“I would say [seniors] have good leadership qualities and push others to be the best that they can to be there for the team on and off the court,” said freshman Zachary Sartain of the Kadet Tennis team. 

According to Sartain, someone on the team who embodies a good leader by his standards is William Maguire, a senior.

“He’s a really genuinely nice guy and when I need to be driven to matches and games, he’s there for me. He’s a good role model[,] friend and mentor,” he said. 

Meanwhile, coaches are working to train the many 17 and 18-year-olds who are going to be setting off on their own adventures very soon.

Long-time teacher and Swim and Dive Coach of 19 years Scott Newell said, “Seniors are seniors; they’re still kids, they’re going through a lot of the same stuff they were going through 10 years ago or 30 years ago when I was in high school.” 

A seasoned swimmer himself, Newell grew up swimming, spent all four years of high school swimming, had four years of swimming at Division 1 college, University of Wyoming. He even walked away with an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) All American in the 100-yard breaststroke and even made it to the 1996 Olympic Trials in the 100-yard breaststroke.  

Newell’s vast and quite impressive experience in swimming has left him with outstanding stories, character, work ethic and mental strength. Wiser than his years, Coach Scott has ample experience in the sport.  

“From high school to college is a totally different thing because you’re talking about different lifestyles … instead of preparing for graduation [athletes] are preparing for a job and life. Seniors in college have a totally different perspective than a senior in high school does,” said Newell. 

For their last year, seniors are giving their sporting activities more time, dedication and energy than ever as the new leaders of their teams. Coaches are preparing them for the future. In a few short months, those sporting Kadets will be setting off into the real game: life.