When senior Emma Beck was a freshman volleyball player, she thought she had all the time left in the world as a Ranger. She thought senior year was never going to come and then before she knew it, it arrived.
“As a freshman I never thought [senior year] would come,” Emma said. “To be honest it was so far away I never thought to stop and think about it, same with going into JV. It didn’t really hit me that my career was coming to an end until last year where I was like, ‘Wow I have one more year to go.'”
Capping off an athletic career can be an emotionally trying time for seniors who have spent their entire lives playing youth sports and looking forward to high school athletics. Emma, like many other seniors, had mixed emotions going through her final season.
“Going into my final season felt like every other season at first,” said Emma, who just ended her last season on the Ranger volleyball team. “Once we got to the second round of conference, when we played every team for the second time, that’s when it really hit me that I was almost done. I was kind of excited because I thought to myself, ‘oh my gosh this means I’m closer to graduating,’ but it was also kind of sad thinking that I was so close to ending my career in FHC volleyball.”
The end of Emma’s fall season led to the beginning of the end for winter sport seniors. Senior Anna Tomsheck, who is part of the FHC ski team, says the thought of it being her last season as a Ranger has not hit her yet.
“Overall I’m really excited to start the season,” Anna said. “The thought of it being my last as a Ranger hasn’t hit me yet. Because it is my final year being on the team, I do not want to dwell on the fact that it is another last, another goodbye, another chapter ending; I want to enjoy the season and go as far as I can go with myself and with my team to make it the absolute best.”
Two more seniors, Emma Yoder and Madi Winter, have played on the same team for the past three years alongside junior Claire Baguley. The 2017-18 season leads to the end of the close basketball trio.
“Playing with them for so long has made us really close,” Claire said. “We have been through everything together. We have experienced and done so much, we spend our winters together every year, in and out of the gym. I have not played a season of basketball without them and I can’t believe I have to next year.”
Likewise to Emma Beck, senior Rylee Hrnyak, who plays soccer in the spring, says she has not thought about the end either.
“I definitely did not even think about it,” Rylee said. “It was so far away that I did not think there would be an end. I have been playing soccer for such a long time, and it will be so weird when it ends. I will be sad but also excited for the next chapter in my life to take place.”
Both Emma and Anna say the biggest reason this coming season feels different is not because it is the end, but because they are now playing the role of the leader.
“It feels different because I’m finally the senior on the team,” said Emma, whose goal this year is to earn a conference and district title. “My sophomore year I looked up to the seniors, and now that’s me; I’m the senior.”
As time winds down and the final season is just around the corner, cherishing the time is the most important aspect to Emma Beck.
“My advice to [the seniors starting your last seasons] is to be role models,” Emma said. “I hope that you make an impression on the younger players where they will play their hardest for you when it counts. I hope that they will love, support and connect with you as [the seniors] did with me. I would also like to say that do not take this for granted, it’s your last year make it count.”