Butterfly Fly Away
Got your wings, now you can't stay
Take those dreams and make them all come true
Growing up, soccer was my sport. I played from the time I was six until my sophomore year in college. While playing was hard to give up, I quickly found a new passion… coaching. I’ve been coaching soccer at Fort Osage High School for twenty seasons. I’ve also coached track for seven. I love being involved in sports, and more importantly teams.
One special part of high school sports that has become very important to me is “Senior Night.” Being with a team, and having that group of players that spends four years with the team is special. You get to learn so much about them. You get to watch them grow. You get to become part of their family in some cases. Each group of seniors is unique, and deserve to be celebrated for what they have added to the program... for the leadership roles that they have grown into.
The hope each year as the season starts is that the younger players will listen to, observe, respect, and learn from those that are older. Learn the traditions. Learn the expectations. Learn the way things are done. Learn what it means to be part of the program… the team. A good senior class can be amazing in this respect. They can set the tone and make my job as a coach so much easier. I’ve been able to see some amazing senior groups come through the soccer and track programs. Other coaches have had similar experiences with their teams at Fort Osage as well.
This last season, I was able to photograph the boys and girls basketball teams at Fort Osage on their senior night. They played Oak Park and both teams won. There was an amazing ceremony between the game and the seniors were all celebrated, as they should be. One of the most touching moments in each game is when the seniors are all substituted out, one last time on their home court, passing of the torch on to the underclassmen. I tear up a little just thinking about that moment.
A few of the seniors will go on to college and continue playing for a few more years. Some may play in a recreational league every now an again. Some might even go on to coach. Some… may never play the sport again. There is definitely a finality to a senior night celebration. I hope that each and every senior knows how important they have been to the program, and know that their coaches will never forget them.
GOD respects the “seniors” as well, and expects us to learn from them. As the “underclassmen” in the church, I need to take the lessons of senior night and apply them to my life. I need to learn from my elders, respect them, and honor them.
Remember your leaders who have spoken GOD’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the LORD and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
This blog is dedicated to to the senior basketball players from Fort Osage. Alecia, Chloe, Ardaysia, Hailey, Rachel, and Alexis. Joshua, Cahleel, Jared, Darren, and Ty. It’s been fun being allowed to follow you and your teams this year. Seeing you grow into the young adults you have become has been amazing. You’ve done a great job teaching the underclassman, by word and example. You’ve done your job, you’ve left the program better than you found it. You’ll be missed. Good luck in whatever you do next.
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Song: Butterfly Fly Away by Miley Cyrus