Hanging up the shoes – Web Exclusive

Joe Spencer | Staff Writer

For seniors working to be the best player on the team their entire high school careers, there comes a time to hang up the shoes. This is what most of the senior athletes at Mason High School are going through currently at the end of third trimester. While graduation means the end of high school academically, it also means the end of most athletes’ competitive careers.

Senior Thomas Tracey had to experience the end of his varsity football career this past 2010 season. Tracey said that when the final minutes of his football career were ticking off the clock, it was a feeling that words could barely describe.

“As time was winding down and minutes turned in to seconds, it felt like my heart was dropping with each tick of the clock,” Tracey said. “When the numbers finally hit all zeroes it was the worst feeling I had ever felt.”

As the seniors all huddled in the middle of the field at the end of the game, Tracey said the experience was one he would have never expected.

“It is extremely saddening to see your career and the sport you love being taken away from you,” Tracey said. “You know that you will never be playing again. But, on the other side of things there are so many great memories from the years of playing, as well as you can see yourself being shaped in to a man.”

This bittersweet feeling to come is what drives senior Jacob Lucky in his final season of varsity lacrosse.

“I expect my last game to be bittersweet just like I have heard a lot of other athletes say,” Lucky said. “This…ending is what drives me to play harder than I have ever played before. This is not only to keep our team moving deeper into the playoffs but, also so that I have good memories of how I played in my final year.”

While Lucky is playing hard for a team in his final moments of his career, senior Eric Pfander is in a different situation in his final season of track.

“After I run my final race it will be very sad,” Pfander said. “Track is a majority individual sport and battling with my emotions will be a very individual process. I will be able to rely on all of the great friends that I made from track but, it still will be a[n] individual process.”

While the end of his high school career will give Pfander more free time, it is not free time that he necessarily welcomes.

“The end of track will be more free time; more time to focus on studying and my next steps in life,” Pfander said. “But, I would trade any of this time for running because it’s what I love to do and I wish I could do for life.”

But, all good things must come to end said senior Lyndsey Carr. The effects of participating in softball have been huge influence in Carr’s life.

“I started playing competitively playing softball in 5th grade,” Carr said. “The same people on the team today are the ones who I originally played with. Not only has softball helped me grow socially through meeting new people but, it has given me the life skills I need in the future. I learned patience, hard work, and dedication from softball.

This large affect that sports have had on Carr will stay with her for the rest of her life and she said that she will be leaving a part of herself behind, along with her athletic career.

“Softball shaped who I am today and what I do with my time,” Carr said. “When it is over it will not just be hanging up the shoes but, hanging up part of my life.”