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The Park Press

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April 19, 2024

Senior(time) Sadness

Exciting finales or unhappy endings?
Jenna+Daugherty+%28left%29%2C+Chris+Daugherty+%28right%29%2C+and+Natalie+Daugherty+%28middle%29+pictured+during+Wheeling+Park+girls+basketball+senior+night.
Jenna Daugherty (left), Chris Daugherty (right), and Natalie Daugherty (middle) pictured during Wheeling Park girls basketball senior night.

From football in the fall to musicals in the spring, we all work towards similar things. Whether it’s the state championship ring or a standing ovation, it’s what you think about when you kick off on that first Friday night and when you sing the final line to end the last show. However, there’s something we’re forgetting…or someone. We often tend to forget about the effect these final moments have on seniors. When these lifelong activities meet their end, it can be extremely heartbreaking and detrimental.

Natalie Daugherty is a senior shooting guard for the Wheeling Park girls basketball team. She has competed for the state title every winter for the past four years and has seen many seniors say their goodbyes. Now, it’s her turn.

“You feel a run of emotions when thinking about the fact that a sport you’ve worked at your whole life is coming to an end. Yes, a chance at the state title is exciting and a little nerve-racking, but leaving friends I’ve played with since I was a kid and a team that feels like family, is heart-breaking,” said Daugherty.

Rylin Russell, on the other hand, chooses to spend her time on the opposite side of high school. She has been a member of the Debate team for the past three years and is now a captain. She talks about the bonds she’ll be leaving behind.

“Yes, I think the final moments in speech and debate are sad, but also bittersweet because I’ve put so much time and effort into these activities,” said Russell. “Debate has given me many skills to help me survive in college and excel in my major, but it’s also upsetting that I have to leave the speech and debate family behind.”

Ryan Linder is a senior who has been involved in a multitude of clubs, activities, programs, and sports during the last four years he’s spent at Park. He talks about one particularly emotional final moment he shared with the broadcasting program.

“One unique thing that I’ve gotten to do over the past few years was broadcast our football games on our radio station. When we traveled to Jefferson with the team in November, it ended up being their last game,” said Linder. “We went off the air as Jefferson’s band was playing “Country Roads” and for one last time saying, ‘Signing off. Ryan Linder on 91.9 WPHP Wheeling.’ That kind of moment of finality was really emotional for me.”

As family, friends, or even just spectators, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement that comes with these much-anticipated times of the year. However, don’t let the exhilaration cause you to forget about the mental health of these seniors. Check on your friends or family, who give their time to these sports and activities that are now ending. As for seniors, think of everything that is waiting for you in (and past) college. Don’t let the melancholic feelings hold you back when reminiscing on what once was, instead think about what is soon to be!

 

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