A time for seniors to let go of what has been a part of them for roughly four years, a time for parents to recognize the finality senior year truly brings, and a time for underclassmen to catch a glimpse of their future, Senior Night is the perfect chance to honor those that will soon move on from Ola High School’s halls. Friday, Nov. 8, Ola held their annual senior night and recognized more than 80 football, cheer, marching band and cross country seniors’ hard work.
“It’s very rewarding [to finally walk across the field] because it’s been really amazing for me,” Madeline Hicks, senior and drum major, said.
While plenty of students were ecstatic to participate, the moment felt bittersweet to many parents who had watched their seniors blossom into their potential throughout the years.
“It’s very special for us to be able to kind of give our final goodbyes, but also to see the beginning of what’s happening in their lives,” Sabrina Curry, mother of Joshua Curry, senior and football player and #73, said.
Other parents find it difficult to believe that this day has finally come, such as Andrew Powell, father of Kobe Powell, senior and cross-country runner.
“It has been the most unreal experience [to watch K. Powell grow] because I never did any of the stuff he’s done when I was in school and that was a long, long time ago. But it’s been awesome… It’s going to be hard losing him,” A. Powell said.
Not only did parents have to choke back tears, but underclassman friends who had become family found themselves in a proud state of melancholy.
“[Skylar Beamon, senior cheerleader, and I have] been on the same cheer team since my freshman year and we kind of were just drawn to each other. We’re super close, always together no matter what. It’s going to be really different next year. We’ve grown as cheerleaders and people together so I’m kind of sad,” Skylar Kelly, junior, said.
Even though seniors were brimming with excitement, they too recognized the weight that Senior Night held. Even though they would see their families and friends straight after and even the next day, walking across the football field as the lights rained down and the stands cheered only foreshadowed the final goodbye that continues to loom over all seniors from May.
“I’ve created a family here and I’m really excited for the future to come, but I’m also really excited to see where this band goes,” Hicks said.
The thrill that Hicks, along with many others, shared throughout their years could not have been achieved without the fantastic coaches and directors the students had the privilege to work with. Senior night hits these coaches, just like parents, with numerous emotions that can only be described as bittersweet.
“I love all my athletes. They’re like family to me,” Torrence McGee, cross-country coach, said.
As coaches, family and friends watch the seniors jubilantly take the spotlight, one can not help but wonder what the future holds for the seniors, the school and the underclassmen who will soon hold the spotlight themselves.
“[Senior Night] is really sentimental and it puts everything in perspective that I really need to cherish my moments now before it is my last game on our home field because I know that I’ll probably take it for granted and I don’t want to do that,” Kelly said.
Senior night is a well-deserved chance to honor the blood, sweat and tears students have put into their passions for years. While it may mark one chapter’s end, it proves that another is just beginning, and Ola’s seniors and all of their loved ones can not wait to see what comes next.