PASS IN YOUR UNIFORM, PLEASE

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Senior year is a lot about “finals”. No, not the dreaded end of year exams; rather, it is the final high school class, final lunch in the caf, final school liturgy, final school dance. But there is one final that is announced on the Morning Bulletin that elicits lots of emotions from our student athletes. It’s that dreaded direction to “Pass in your uniform, please.” It does not matter the season or sport. Passing the uniform on is a rite-of-passage. And students become painfully aware that the uniform and number they have worn on a field or court is now part of their history. For many senior athletes, there is the awareness that the last game played wearing the Blue and Gold may very well be their last competitive game played in a sport that they love. So many student athletes today begin playing their sport as early as five years old in town leagues. By the time they are high school athletes, they have committed hundreds of hours to their chosen sport. Their closest friends are often their teammates. Riding a bus or in the school van to arrive at an “away game” is literally a joy ride as they anticipate getting out and playing. Their lives are built around the game schedule found on the refrigerator. So, when they hear the announcement they know will come as the season ends, they would like to call foul but they cannot. Senior Brian Moriarty is not looking forward to that moment of letting go of his uniform and hopes to “delay as long as possible … I might even try to find a way to hold onto it.” Olivia Papay, a captain of AW Girls Soccer, sums up the experience: “It’s a sad memory hearing it’s time to pass in the uniform. You’ll never put on that jersey again and some new girl will now put up your number. You start to think of all the good times of being on the team – sharing stories and having laughs, teammates that you see every day. It’s over.”

To all our senior athletes, as this year of final this and final that evolves, know that the uniform is still there for you in memory and all that was accomplished in its wearing will be with you wherever you go.