Reader: Sports coverage lessens senior night meaning

Posted: Monday, March 06, 2006

Your coverage of Soldotna High School and Skyview High School senior night festivities/basketball games urged me to write this letter. My comments are for all, but especially directed at your sports writing staff. Although I did not have a student playing on either team, I went to senior night to celebrate with the students and parents of the seniors that were playing.

To say any team spoiled or celebrated senior night festivities by a win or loss is to trivialize the meaning of senior night. All conference wins and losses are important. You seem to be saying that you play harder or that the loss or win would have been easier or better if it weren’t senior night.

Yes, every senior wants to end his or her playing career at home with a win, but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. That is why any win, is always wonderful; as well as any loss is upsetting.

Senior night, in comparison, is about so much more. Senior night recognizes those students who take the time, dedication and organization, put in the effort and participate in sport. It recognizes all the players, whether they start and play the most minutes, or the player who is ready to play, who may get only a few minutes a night. It also recognizes the players, who for whatever reason may not have the year of choice, due to injury.

Senior night recognizes the dedication it takes of parents for their student to participate. Parents that sit in the stands, wait dinner for their student at late practice, travel to games, work concession stands, pay fees and travel expenses and share the ups and downs of wins and losses with their student.

Basketball, hockey, track, skiing, volleyball, wrestling, etc., are all great sports and can teach good habits for life. On the other hand, there is more to life than sport. Also, there is life after sport. Although most high school athletes will not participate in a college athletic program, that in no way should lessen what they have accomplished. Senior night recognizes that.

To say that loosing a game spoiled the festivities or only a win can be a celebration shows a total lack of understanding of the concept of senior night by your staff. Perhaps when they have a student in this position, it will make more sense.

Linda Gephardt


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