Despite COVID, athletes still shine bright on senior nights

Josephine Piper, Staff Writer

Every sport at Palm Beach Central genuinely cherishes the seniors that play them. In spite of the fact that sports this year have been restricted, students, coaches, faculty, and family are ready as ever to salute seniors on their last year with on their senior nights. 

Amid the restrictions in sports, seniors and their teams have managed to play their games while keeping the proper safety precautions. Though, due to the worldwide virus, some sports have not happened yet. 

In the time students have been back to school in person, sports teams have been allowed to play a limited amount of games. It also has been made sure that though the games are limited, all teams are able to wish their seniors a special farewell.

The coaches decided to hold senior night at our first home game so that in the event games were cancelled, we were certain to have our celebration,” explained assistant volleyball coach Coach Elder. In a normal year, we would invite families, while this year we were limited to two family members per player.  Each player had a reserved parking spot, received a SENIOR mask and cape, and was treated like royalty!  We hope that our celebration brought some normalcy to the athletes that have devoted four years to our program.” 

One of the first senior nights Central had was the girls’ volleyball team, which went extremely well despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It was super amazing, everyone worked super hard and did a great job even with COVID and everything,” said senior and varsity volleyball captain Coleen Peggs. “I was just really grateful that we were able to have one with everything that has gone on. We all had a fantastic time, it was definitely one of my favorite games of the season and I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better.” 

This year has been very harsh on student athletes. Many athletes are not playing and are behind on their seasons. Additionally, due to the virus, many parents are not allowing their children to play. They do not wish for their players to be in contact with others as they fear other individuals who could be infected. Along with this fear, there are also concerns regarding the health issues they could face if they contracted the virus.

For football players, their last hurrah did not go as hoped. Compared to last year, the turnout was significantly smaller- 50 people. The athletes were not able to receive any gifts or trinkets as usual. Instead, many ended up being exposed to the virus and took home a positive test result instead of gifts. 

As seen in basketball as well, their senior night was not the grand event it once was. The night consisted of players and their parents getting their pictures taken before their game. They also received gift baskets and balloons as memorabilia of their final game. 

Even though most nights are scaled back of what they used to be, the athletes are appreciative of everything they have.

”Senior night is just one of the most bittersweet moments a player has,” explained senior basketball player Daniel Potter. “It’s a celebration and recognition of all of those long practices, the early mornings, the late nights, all the wins, all the team bonding, and the culture of the team. Senior night was surreal, everyone who helped to put it together are such great people.”

With the unusual circumstances of this year, the Athletic Honor Society tried to support Central’s seniors the best they could. Members created posters and helped set up the venues for the senior nights. 

While some senior nights have passed, some are uncertain. In Lacrosse, no senior night has been held yet due to the season being delayed. Many seniors are feeling upset and are worrying they will not be able to go out with a bang.  

Blatantly, many issues affected senior nights. Luckily, some athletes were able to attend their senior nights and enjoyed it. This night is always a night to remember for athletes who worked hard in their senior season and past seasons. All teams and coaches made an effort to give the seniors what they could and overall that is what matters.