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The Talon

A Colonial Forge News Publication

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A Colonial Forge News Publication

The Talon

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Senior Night: No Turning Back

Senior+Night%3A+No+Turning+Back

     As the Seniors stepped on the turf Friday night before the game against North Stafford for their final regular season game, emotions were high. Football didn’t just start for them in high school, but years before when they were having fun with their friends in the youth league.

     As players and their families got called to the middle of the field, their parents’ minds were racing with memories of seeing their child in elementary school stepping on the field for the first time, asking themselves, “How did they end up here so fast?”

     These athletes have battled through it all together in the four years of high school. They have experienced injuries, sweat, blood, tears of joy and sadness, laughter, long bus rides, exhaustion like they have never felt before, and memories that will last a lifetime. But most of all, love. They love the game, but they love the family they built along the way.

     Friday night, the varsity football team seniors were individually recognized, along with their families for their dedication to the sport.

     “My dad is my biggest supporter, so he motivates me whenever I have bad games and always cheers me up. He is always in the same spot so I can just look up in the stands and watch him cheer me on,” Tyler Rivers (‘24) said. 

     Senior team captain Ethen Horne built his family with the Eagles over the last four years.

     “When I first got here I was welcomed with open arms and since then I’ve built relationships with everyone and it feels like we are a big family. Being captain of the family means being able to be a role model for my other teammates and being held to a higher standard really motivates me to become a better person,” Ethen Horne (‘24)

     From building a family to learning life lessons, for them, it was about more than just a game.

     Offensive tackle, Aaron Goshorn (‘24), has learned his fair share of lessons over the last two years.  Aaron has spent a lot of time on the sideline due to knee injuries. 

     “I dislocated and relocated my kneecap during the week 7 game against Mountain View. I missed 3 weeks. I was able to come back after doing tons of rehab and doing cryotherapy on my knee. I had to work very hard to come back.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of my friends and trainers,” Aaron said.

     “I messed my ankle up in the 2nd scrimmage and it hasn’t gotten better since then but it taught me to push through a lot of pain to continue. I had to continue and It because is my last year and I will never quit in anything especially not football. I just had to feel happy for the team instead of feeling bad for myself,” Jackson Welch (‘24) said. 

     In four short years, these players have gained experience in areas people spend a lifetime without ever knowing.

     “Never take anything for granted. When things get hard, you just gotta keep sticking with it and never give up. A lot of people quit so be the one who stays and puts in the work,” Hank Walsh (‘24) said. 

     Then there are the accomplishments and memories they made and never realized at the moment that they would be some of their best ones.

     “My favorite memory this season by far was on senior night when I went on the field to kick a kickoff and when I kicked it I realized that their returner was coming up the field meaning I could possibly get a tackle which was my number 1 goal for the season. So I ran up the field, saw an opening right to the returner and went for the tackle and hit him at the same time as Jp did, ending the play with the tackle,” Benjamin Lemoine (‘24) said. 

     “My greatest accomplishment is probably that I am a Blue-Grey All-American and will be playing in Tampa Florida this January for the bowl game. I couldn’t have done that without all of my coaches and family supporting me and pushing me,” Austin Fletcher (‘24)

     Being part of a team is more than just participating in the sport, as these seniors have shown, they have learned valuable life lessons, built a family, and made memories they will go on to tell their children about years from now.

     They will take on Gainesville this Friday at 6 p.m. at home for their first playoff game. 

 

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About the Contributor
Caroline Saunders, Entertainment editor
Caroline Saunders is a sophomore and this is her first year writing for the Talon. She loves to take pictures and writing about the latest sports stories. Whenever she is not taking pictures and writing stories you can find her playing softball and traveling.
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