Senior athletes leave big shoes to fill

Ethan Pringle, sports editor

One of the hardest parts in all of sports is replacing the senior class.

“One of the most important things is replacing senior leadership and not just production on the court or on the field or in the pool but more from a leadership standpoint and a culture standpoint. They set the tone. The seniors do everything we do in this school. How we behave, how we act, how we carry ourselves, how we practice, how we train, and how we take care of our bodies. Everything is led by the example of our senior class. If we don’t get that replaced, then we will struggle no matter what talent we are. Hard work will always beat talent, and the seniors set the tone for that,” Mr.Jerrod Watson, strength coach, said.

Not all seniors started off as leaders, it takes hard work to earn that title.

“Well anytime kids become seniors and they put four years into a program there obviously they’re going to have natural leadership and a natural ownership with the program. It takes tough people to stick with it for four years. I certainly think the guys we have had and the way that we do things they naturally become leaders,” Mr. Mike Campbell, head football coach,  said.

Everyone wants a good athlete, but in terms of leaders, good people fill the roles better.

“The reality of our situation is you’re losing people every year whether it’s one or a hundred and you have to find a way to replace them. It is tough because you have people who can come in and contribute immediately as freshmen and you take four years worth of varsity experience and then it is gone and you have to find a way to fill that in. More importantly, it is hard to see those people go because you spend all that time with them and you build a lot of good relationships, but you know it is part of the gig. You hope they go off and do something awesome whether they continue on in athletics, and if they don’t, that’s perfectly fine. You just hope whatever happens they go and be good people. We are in the business of making good people first, and if they are good athletes too, then it works out great,” Mr. Blaine Williams, head track coach said.