A Bittersweet Ending

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Courtesy of Tatum Fiegle

The senior athletes will be leaving Lake Ridge leaving behind some cherished memories, but excited for their futures.

With the end of the fall season for various sports nearing, many of the Seniors are wrapping up their athletic career at Lake Ridge as they finish their final games of the year. This can be a bittersweet experience for many as they say their final goodbyes to the sport they love, yet the doors to their future have also opened up new opportunities. Whether that be continuing playing sports or having to permanently retire, it is important to recognize the accomplishments they have achieved and reflect on their past experiences playing for Lake Ridge.

For the Football Team, they ended their season on a good note, securing a 35-13 win over the Cedar Hill Longhorns on their Senior Night Game, and improving their overall record to 4-6. Accounting for two key interceptions, the Lake Ridge defense held the Longhorns offense to only two touchdowns while the offense combined for over 100 yards in both passing and rushing thanks to the offensive line’s dominance at the line of scrimmage. At the heart of this line, Senior Center, Tatum Fiegle, points out how special this game meant for him as it would possibly be his final game.

“There were a lot of emotions taking the field for the last time, realizing I may not play in college, and knowing that this may be the last time I see my teammates on the field. But, during the Senior Game, I was playing with a different mindset, knowing that I wanted to leave on a high note with a win instead of a loss, and I wanted to do my best to win the game so I can look back and remember the win,” said Fiegle.

For the Seniors, having that past experience to recall upon and that maturity can impact the mentality of the underclassmen. Being an upperclassman, it can be essential to provide some words of encouragement to the younger players to take in as they continue through their lives and leave open spots for other players to fill. As Fiegle hangs up his helmet and pads, he reflects upon his journey and provides some inspiration to his younger teammates, who will hopefully provide as big of an impact as he has on the football field.

“As an offensive lineman, we work together a lot, and I learned that you really need to work together and trust the people next to you to succeed because if one person messes up, it can ruin the whole play, but if you can trust the person next to you to pick up on something you can’t cover, it really builds a bond between you and that person,” he said. “My words of encouragement would be, Keep doing your best, keep trying as hard as you can. If you want to succeed, you have to believe that you can and try your best in every opportunity, so go out there and practice your skills, workout, and just try to get better in every opportunity.”

The Volleyball Team finished their season with a 3-0 loss to the Midway Panthers in the first round of the playoffs. Although the team lost their Senior Night Game, the entire season was more of a success for the team, especially since the team had missed out on the playoffs the previous season. The overall season provided the players with learning opportunities to improve upon and special memories that they can always look back upon. Sa’myah Medford, senior Middle Blocker/Outside Hitter, is proud of the way her overall career went and hopes the best for her younger teammates.

“Volleyball has taught me teamwork and it has made me a better person on and off the court and I am really grateful for it. I think all the hard work I put into it and getting recognition when I had committed and definitely when we beat DeSoto this year were some of my favorite memories. This season I got moved to a new position, and I was tied for first in district for most kills, which is points scored, so I think that was really good for me,” said Medford. “To the younger athletes, I would say to use every ball to your advantage and the sky’s the limit. Just believe in yourself because you’re only going to be your biggest supporter.”

Additionally, the volleyball team will say their final farewells to eight senior athletes, who made up the majority of the varsity team. While there are some who will leave volleyball in their past, many, including Medford, will continue playing volleyball as they transition into college. Looking back in the years of playing volleyball, she recalls the experience she’s had playing volleyball and looks into her future plans.

“The past four years have been really exciting and it was really sad for it to come to an end. But, whenever one door closes, another one opens, and I’ll be playing volleyball in college as I plan to further my athletic career at Louisiana Tech University.” said Medford. “I’ve also made so many friend connections through volleyball, and I am really happy that I started playing. I just want to thank Lake Ridge volleyball for helping me become the person I am today.”

 

The Lake Ridge Tennis team finished their fall season a month ago after a loss to Tyler Legacy in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The first round, however, the Eagles played against the Harker Heights Knights resulted in a win for the Lake Ridge Eagles with a score of 16-3. Last Thursday, the team held a potluck celebration for the seniors to commemorate their achievements both on the court and off the court. It also gave the seniors a warm farewell for those who are not returning for the spring season that is set to take off a few months from now. However, senior Cierra Shen, who plans on returning for the spring season, talks about the valuable lessons she has learned from playing tennis for four years at Lake Ridge.

“It’s really sad that the first season of the year is over because I made a lot of memories on the team and it’s really reminiscing, but I will be returning for the spring season,” said Shen. “I learned a lot of teamwork and social skills- being able to adapt to other people, lifting others up, and overall creating a fun environment with dedication. The upperclassmen told me that if you lose, then take it as a lesson and try your best to walk past it. Tennis is a mental game and it’s all about your mindset.”

So, as the Lake Ridge athletics department finishes up their fall season, many senior athletes have been able to look back upon their careers at Lake Ridge, sharing some of their favorite memories and valuable lessons they have learned from playing. The only thing left for the seniors to do, graduate!