An Unprecedented Ending to the Final Chapter for Senior Athletes

An Unprecedented Ending to the Final Chapter for Senior Athletes

Mark Mincolelli

Immensely painful news fractured the hearts of high school and college seniors across the state of New Jersey on May 4th, 2020, when governor Phil Murphy announced that all public and private educational campuses would indeed be shut down for the remaining months of the school year. Seniors have taken the most impact, as the Class of 2020 will miss out on milestone, once-in-a-lifetime occasions. Amongst those are prom and graduation, however, the group who feels the most empty during these times, are senior spring athletes.

 

Athletics are a crucial aspect in the lives of these young adults, and for many, their craft has been a mode of escapism and freedom from everyday life. The hard work and dedication each student-athlete put forth, unfortunately will not pay off, and seniors will not be granted their final season of play, and won’t finish what they started. The hardest part however, is accepting that their final inning, quarter, lap, period, etc, has already been completed, and those who won’t compete at the next level, will never compete again. Mixed emotions of frustration, sadness, and utter confusion, swarm the minds of senior athletes on a daily basis, and as we remain in our homes with nothing much to do except think; we ruminate upon what could have been. The  unforgettable memories, and the joy we received from simply being around our team and our sport, has suddenly become a distant experience which has created a gaping void within us.

 

When asked for their input, many current West Orange seniors agreed to discuss their opinions and feelings upon these unfortunate, awful circumstances. Julian Lee, senior left fielder for the West Orange Mountaineer baseball team, discussed his emotions, and when asked if he has found closure at all during these difficult times, he stated that he doesn’t feel as if he’ll “ever find closure,” and later added that “this will haunt {him} for a long while.” For the time being, Lee has taken on a new hobby: golf. As a substitute for his time missed on the diamond, the senior enjoys the green because it has given him “something to compete” in. His teammate, and Mountaineer infielder, Milton Dauber, orders underclassmen to never take for granted what they have here at West Orange, and to actually embrace this pandemic, because the “tendencies and hard work {players} establish now will set the stage for future levels of success.”

 

Senior cross country runner, Angelyne Silverio, is also frustrated alongside her teammates by the disruption and cancellation of her final season. She’s made many memories and is saddened that she won’t be allowed to finish what she began 4 years ago. “We always have fun during practice and I miss my teammates so much.” She adds that she wants her teammates to continue to “work on improving {their} craft to become a better runner and individual.”

 

As for the rest of the 2020 senior class, we share the same frustrations. Having these memories stripped from us is not easy to deal with, but we will rise from this. The future is in our hands now.