Photo by GRACE GRELAK
Like every college, sports are a fundamental part of student athletes’ careers. It is something they partake in from their first day on campus to their last day.
Athletes learn not only how to master their sport at the collegiate level, but how to master the art of balancing school, practice, weightlifting, and games at the same time. For some, sports introduce them to their lifelong friends and teach them lessons they could not have learned from a book.
When senior student athletes cross the stage at graduation to get their diploma, they are leaving behind more than a four-year sports career. They are leaving behind something that has built them into the person they are today.
Therefore, many sports teams at Alma recognize this and participate in “Senior Day” games in order to give the team’s seniors proper recognition and send off from college.
“The senior game is the game where the team and supporters take a moment and recognize the current seniors on the team and all their work that they have put into the program in their time here at Alma,” said Kyle Farmer (’20).
Both of Alma’s soccer teams recently celebrated their seniors with the Women’s senior game being Wednesday, October 23rd, and the Men’s senior game on Saturday, October 26th. Each game took place at Scotland Yard, where the Seniors played their last guaranteed home game.
“Senior day is a big game for the team, especially the seniors. This is the last promised time that we, as seniors, will be able to compete on Scotland Yard which has been our home the past four years. We have cherished our time competing on The Yard and would do anything to have more time to rep the crest out on the pitch,” said Garrison Mast (’20), a senior on the Men’s soccer team.
Mast is one of the ten seniors from the Men’s team, who was recognized at the Senior game, while the women’s team congratulated two seniors on their season and career.
When recognizing the athletes on their success, they are surrounded by their teammates, family and friends. Seniors at either half-time or the end of the game will be asked to walk out to the middle of the field with their parents or family for pictures and the senior ceremony.
“At the game, each senior will be recognized with their parents. Our name, number, position, and post-graduation plans will be read off as we are recognized. Family and friends will likely be in attendance as it is the last time we are guaranteed to compete on Scotland Yard, our home the past four years,” said Mast.
The senior ceremony is a moment for seniors to reminisce on their sports career, while handing the team over to the underclassmen. It gives them a chance to look back on their time and provide their wisdom and tips to the future team.
“The senior game to me is an opportunity to thank the seniors for all the work that they have put in to making Alma College Men’s soccer the team that it is today. It is important to recognize the work that they have put in, not only at Alma but over the course of their careers,” said Farmer.
Having a senior game also allows players to say goodbye to a sport they have been playing since they were young. Many athletes coming into college have been playing their sport for years and have made it a part of their identity.
Senior games give seniors the opportunity to reflect on their sport career and time at Alma.
“My favorite memory would have to be scoring the game winning goal in our conference semi-final game my freshman year and the reaction from the team after. The celebration was complete unity within the team, no one cared who scored the goal. Everyone was united as a team ecstatic that we were moving on in the tournament,” said Farmer.
Senior games give teams the opportunity to recognize and thank seniors for everything they do on and off the field. Every player, whether they are a freshman or a senior, plays a role on a team.
Hence, when the time arrives for a player’s career to come to an end, it is only fitting to thank them for their time and commitment to the program they have helped build and participate in.
“Being a part of this program has meant the world to me. This team means everything to me; I would do anything for anyone that I have played with here at Alma. The brotherhood we have and the bonds that I have made are unreal and will last until the day I die,” said Mast.