Senior Appreciation Night honors softball stars

Senior Alex Jones goes up to bat in the game against Kinkaid.

Eric Hang

Senior Alex Jones goes up to bat in the game against Kinkaid.

Shani Israel, Staff Writer

April 13th was an unforgettable day for senior softball player Alex Jones: she committed to the University of Houston, hit a home run during her game, and helped lead her team to a 10-0 victory over St. Andrew’s. That day was also memorable for Elysa Tulek, Alara Burgess, and Alyssa Barrett as they were honored during their Senior Appreciation Day.

Within each sport, Senior Appreciation Day recognizes seniors for their display of leadership and dedication.

“I think it’s really important. It’s another senior milestone,” Jones said. “It was also pretty important just because I was with my team. I really, really love them. I was happy that they could do that for us.”

During the post-game ceremony, the seniors were walked onto the field by their parents, where the parents and the coaches summarized their stats and discussed their contributions to the team. The seniors received flowers and gifts from their parents and teammates. Each senior was asked what they would miss most about softball.

“I love these girls — not only the current team that I’m on, but also the teams that I have been on with people who are older than me. Playing sports and having a common goal, whether it’s to win SPC or to win as many games as we can, really builds valuable friendships, so I’m really going to miss this community,” Tulek said. “Also, I’m going to miss the snacks. We always have great softball snacks.”

Junior teammates plan the ceremony every year.

“Laurel [McKelvey] and I have both known these girls for a long time,” junior Julia Waller said. “One, it was fun to step up in the leadership because we’ll be seniors next year and to try to lead the team on, but two, they’re all just really great people and it was cool to get to celebrate them and their accomplishments.”

Although the event commemorates seniors, Tulek’s favorite part of the ceremony was watching the juniors take the reins as leaders.

“Senior Appreciation Day is a pivotal moment. [It’s] the mark of the juniors’ transition,” Tulek said. “Seeing them organize this and seeing them care and do a great job decorating made me really excited for next season because I know that this transition is going to be really amazing.”

Jones’ favorite part of the ceremony was the biographies that the coaches wrote for each of the seniors.

“I really liked that, just looking back at everything and hear what she had to say about us,” Jones said.

The team enjoys many out-of-school functions, such as attending the boys’ baseball games or getting frozen yogurt. These kinds of activities contribute to the closeness of the team.

“Everyone has a lot of fun with it,” Waller said. “I think it has something to do with the fact that we just have really good chemistry, but I also think it has something to do with the seniors’ leadership. They’re fostering those relationships and those friendships.”

Softball will close their season by competing in SPC in Dallas this weekend.