A senior swan song

By Alex Nakagawa

Online Managing Editor

The end of the fall season signifies the start of another winter season, and with that a new set of sports to be played at South Pasadena High School. For many anticipating freshmen, this marks the beginning of their new and hopeful long-term high school athletic career. Sophomores and juniors begin the winter season with a year or two of experience behind them, basking in the comfort of knowing that the middle years are a time for growth and
skill refinement.

However, there are people, myself included, who have reached the beginning of the end that is senior year. For the most part, we as seniors have been playing our respective sports for three years at most, and our term is coming to a close. There is no avoiding this harsh reality, but in essence, this fact of life must be taken with a certain humility.

The beauty of high school sports programs is evident: playing for a team at the high school level demands a certain respect from an athlete to represent his or her school with pride. In order to do this, freshmen who are interested in athletics draw much of their habits and influences from senior leadership. Much like how a son or daughter looks up to his or her elders, the younger players on a team naturally look for guidance from both the coach and the seniors on a team. This is why “senior leadership” is an infallible and integral part of a team’s success. A team emulates the moral aspects of a more experienced player. Unfortunately, as much as a senior’s positive leadership can lead to a happy and fruitful season, a team can just as easily fall apart to the hands of a negative and egotistical
senior player. 

I encourage all of my fellow seniors in their final practices and matches as a high school athlete to take a minute to be conscious of their role on their teams. A senior leader’s actions to set an example for others holds more weight than many may think. It goes without saying, “Play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.” For the sake of clarity, when a senior leader prioritizes the team’s well-being, the team’s dynamic changes for the better. This is our chance to leave our mark on South Pasadena’s rich history of athletic excellence. To my fellow seniors, we should shift the focus from gaining individual accolades and worrying about standing out in our final year as we set our sights on making better leaders for future years.