Senior Day. It is our third season in the mountains, sadly I don’t have as deep of a connection as I’m used to with a group of seniors.  This group in particular I feel like I just learned their names.

Football includes a unique group of men who bond in a special way.  Watching a group come in as 18 year olds, fresh out of high school, trying so hard to prove themselves never gets old.  An incoming class may have as many as 40 players but as the years go on graduating classes can range from 20 to 10 or less.  Our first season here 2 or 3 graduated, 6 said their goodbyes last season.  This Saturday we will watch 16 men walk with their parents onto the field for the last time.  I love getting to see these players four years older with their parents.   It’s amazing to see the difference. Usually more facial hair (No Shave November) a lot more muscle and sometimes even a few inches taller.  The confidence change from a freshman to a senior is remarkable.  As each player hands his mother a rose and proudly walks the field it is a sight that never fails to bring a tear to the eyes in the crowd.

All over the country this month seniors in high school will finish their careers. Hopes of continuing in college will be high and mother’s will insist that Friday nights will never be the same.  Eight percent of those seniors will become freshman once again and four years later they will again say goodbye to the football field.  According to Scholarshipstats.com

Number of High School Football Players 1,122,024         1,828
Number of College Football Players 90,136

My husband always says that football is unlike most other sports in that once you are done it is rare to play again.  There are always people to play basketball with, tennis or soccer.  Football is something that you say goodbye to and this Saturday we will celebrate another group as they say goodbye.

The interesting thing about graduating a group of seniors is seeing the underclassmen step into the role of leader.  The personality and tempo of each team changes with the leadership.  With every transition there are positives and negatives. As sad as it is to say goodbye, watching players become leaders is a privilege I look forward to.  Goodbye and hello all together, bittersweet.

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