Stepping it up one last time

Finishing a sport after many seasons can be emotional for athletes.


Gary Hufford

Senior Payton Daniele poses with senior Skylar Hopkins at one of their last football games.

Lizzy Mason, Staff Reporter

The practices, the pressure, the wins and the losses, at some point every player steps on the playing field for the last time.

Seeing the lights, hearing the crowd cheering, walking out with teammates, and feeling the rush of adrenaline when the timer starts may bring a range of feelings. It might be relief, sadness, joy, anger, or even a mix of everything. Emotions are going to be high during that last game.

“My last season went by so fast, I cried after my last competition because I couldn’t believe that was the end. It goes by so much faster than you would think,” Abbi Avolt (‘20) said. Avolt has cheered for six years with the Palm Harbor Panthers.

For anyone that has played a sport for all four years of high school or even for some that have played one season of any sport in their life knows the feeling of walking off that arena and not going back on. For some it can be quite sentimental.

“Playing high school football was the best thing in my life. After my last play all the memories started coming back to me. I couldn’t believe it was over,” Wyatt Beasey (‘19) said. Beasey has played quarterback for the football team all four years of high school.

Just as that first step onto the mat, rink, field, or court has to happen, so does the last. Some things are bound to change over time.

“My first competition I had no idea how things were run or what I was really doing, and I remember we won first place,” Avolt said. “My last competition I knew how awards ran and how deductions and the scoring process worked.”

From the first game or competition to the last, an athlete may experience ups and downs throughout the season. From getting that first place trophy or scoring the game winning goal to injuries, drama, and losses.

“Between my last season and my first we had new coaches every season, so it was a new environment and rules every year,” Payton Daniele (‘19) said. “Most years it was the same team with a few exceptions so there was always new drama and new friends.” Daniele has cheered all four years in high school.

But when it is all over, that is when it is time to look back at everything that happened during the season.

“It was fun to see the change in the group over the years with new coaching and getting to see everyone grow up together,” Daniele said.

After years of dedication to a sport, the season must come to an end.