Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:30 am

To the Class of 2017, the athletes and parents – thanks

My annual message to those graduating seniors and the parents who have sacrificed so much through the years is one that I always think is a message that I put out just did a few weeks ago – hard to believe it’s been a year already, but it has.

Yes, it seems like only a few weeks ago that I bid farewell to the members of the Class of 2016, yet here we are again, saying goodbye to yet another group of graduates – this time the largest group of seniors Clinton County High School has ever had – some 130 who will do the tassel flip come Saturday night and make the transition from student, to alumni.

While congratulations certainly go out to all of our members of this 100th graduating class, this message is pointed more toward those members of the Class of 2017 who were involved in one or more of the extracurricular offerings that make up our athletic lineup making you Lady Bulldogs or Bulldogs.

For simplicity purposes – just Bulldogs, and you parents or family members who have gone the extra mile to get to this final week of your high school careers.

To the parents/families – you drove to the games and sat on those hard bleachers at the matches. You walked sat in cars waiting on practice to end and you endured some endless nights of little league play.

You walked the courses or rented carts to watch your athlete and you drove to gymnasiums and fields across this state and region that you had never ever heard of before, and likely will never see again.

You helped with assignments and homework after the practices and meets were over and you drove home in the late night hours, often well into the early morning hours with your athlete asleep and resting.

But you did it with one thing in mind, and that was to give your young athlete every chance possible to make the most of these youth years. Not so much with the hopes of seeing them reach the next level of competition – although many will do just that, thank you – but more often just to get to see the look of joy on their face when they drained that three point basket, slid in safe at third, or sank that 20 foot putt for birdie to win the hole.

Athletes – you were the stars on the floor and on the fields and courts, but take a second and read those paragraphs above one more time, then take a second to thank whomever that was mentioned above who went the extra mile to do everything they could and make sure your high school athletic career was everything it could be .

Finally, after you walk across that stage this Friday night and make that transition from student athlete to alumni, don’t be a stranger.

Night after night, and afternoon after afternoon, fans sat in the grandstands and cheered you on. While most were parents, fellow students and family members, many were simply former athletes who had come back to show their support for the school that years before, had cheered for them.

Come Friday night, you will now be known as an alumni of Clinton County High School, so don’t be a stranger. Come on back and cheer on our future athletes, teams and squads. That was not so long ago you out there who needed that little extra push that comes from hearing a loud home crowd.

Yes, congratulations are certainly in order for your accomplishments – on and off the floor, but the message here is another one altogether.

Thank you for making it a fun run for us fans, and while you may now be termed a “former athlete”, there is one title that can never be taken away from you and will follow you for the rest of your life.

You are a Bulldog – now and forever. Be a loyal one! Wear it proudly!

Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog.