As seniors begin to prepare to wear a graduation gown for the first time, many are now recalling when they wore their black and gold uniforms for the last time.
For some, they did their activity for almost their entire lives. It became a part of how they defined themselves. They knew for certain they would be doing it all over again the same time next year.
Until this year, that is. When some seniors had their last game or performance, that was the end of their career forever.
They may have dreaded practice, had thoughts of quitting, and the urge to vent their frustrations to their coaches, but they showed up anyway and still put in long, hard hours. Some may be finding now they wished they had worked just a little bit harder and they had words of wisdom for next year’s seniors.
Boys tennis standout Sam Innerst, who will play Division III tennis at York College this fall, wishes he would have practiced more during the summer.
Wrestler Luke Joines would go back and “wrestle more in the offseason and get more experience” if he could change anything about the time he spent in wrestling.
Girls tennis player Elizabeth Anderson said, “If I could go back, I would have started playing tennis sooner, it’s a great sport that allows for competition as an individual and as a team.”
“The Red Lion football program has a bright future...next year’s seniors, enjoy every moment this season and take nothing for granted because it all goes too fast. Give everything you have because you don’t want to have any regrets,” defensive end Sam Lowe said. He will continue his career at the collegiate level, playing next year for the United States Coast Guard Academy.
During the seniors’ high school careers, they all tasted how sweet it is to win.
A highlight of Lowe’s career is when the football team defeated Central this year. Swimmer Courtney Schaefer reached States her freshman year. Elizabeth Anderson won a close doubles match to secure a team win with junior Alison Miller.
Some were even deemed “champions.”
The Marching Lions were victorious at the Cavalcade of Bands championships, which was the highlight of drum major Anna Lorenzen’s career.
“I will never forget that feeling...I want this band to be remembered as a hard working group of smart and amazing kids. They are nothing less than that,” Lorenzen said.
They also experienced the stomach-wrenching feeling of defeat.
Despite the varsity softball team’s struggles this season, Riley Warner said, “I want our team to be remembered for never giving up and always giving it our all.”
For next year’s seniors who hope to have a more successful year, Warner tells them to “never give up and always remember why you started..senior year goes by like a blink of an eye.”
Few will continue their careers at the collegiate level. Senior Joe Dashler of the boys lacrosse team is going to try to walk on at Penn State and Elizabeth Anderson plans to join the club tennis team at Villanova University, while Paige Taylor will play Division III field hockey at York College alongside her older sister Alexa.
Quincy Palmer will be running at East Stroudsburg University.
“I’d like to finish my career with times faster than the women’s world records. Those times are pretty fast,” Palmer said of moving on to the next tier of competition.
Swimmer Courtney Schaefer and sprinter Angelica Gonzalez will both be going Division I at Georgia Southern and East Carolina, respectively.
Regardless of if their career will continue beyond Red Lion, they all experienced great highlights in their time.
Sam Innerst got his “main man Dylan Reichard to play” and they had a good time.
Elizabeth Anderson played in the number one position.
Sam Lowe formed camaraderie between teammates.
Joe Dashler was selected as First Team All-County and was selected to play in the Blue Chip 225 Showcase.
Paige Taylor and Riley Warner made great friendships on their respective teams.
A few seniors are on the cusp of having the best moments of their career.
“I feel like the highlight is yet to come. I’ve been a part of back-to-back championship teams, and won back-to-back relay titles,” Quincy Palmer said.