Editorial | When Your High School Athletic Career Ends


Kathleen Lewis

The end of a high school sports career can be a difficult time for many student-athletes. The Raider Voice has some words for those facing this change, or those who will eventually.

Kathleen Lewis, Editor-in-Chief

Losing usually isn’t the hardest part: there is an odd sense of clarity in your mind as the final seconds of your last playoff game tick by. What happens next can be shocking, though, as you may hear a referee’s whistle screech the season to a halt and feel the realization hitting you that it’s all over. You might see some of your teammates’ faces streaked with tears. The prospect that this is the last time you might play your sport on this team can be difficult to grasp.

But soon, it’s all going to be fine, and you will successfully move on to the next chapter. Soon, it won’t feel painful to look at your uniform on your shelf or flip through the photos from your exhilarating season. Athletes are well aware of the idea that pain is temporary and can often lead to a positive destination. Likewise, dozens of senior athletes this year are experiencing the end of their high school sports careers, and for many this is a difficult transition.

No one’s emotions are exactly the same, with responses ranging from total devastation to satisfaction and relief. What senior athletes share in common, however, is that regardless of whether they were all-star MVPs or just there to enjoy the ride, the time spent engaging with their sport and their teammates is likely to take up a meaningful portion of their high school memories and experiences.

Your sport has probably shaped your identity and character in ways that you don’t yet realize.

Your sport has probably shaped your identity and character in ways that you don’t yet realize. It’s probably taught you to manage a busy schedule, face adversity, work for something bigger than yourself, and — most importantly — how to fight for what you want and refuse to give up. The lessons learned through high school athletics are going to turn up in some of the most unexpected places, but will make you glad that you put in the dedication and effort, and grateful that you decided to stand up to the challenges you faced along the way. Sports have a way of teaching life-long lessons that are assets in many future professional and social situations.

The key is that even when you’re not on the field anymore, you will always be an athlete and your sport will always be a part of you. These experiences will take us places and fulfill dreams that right now, we might not even realize yet.