Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted May 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Congrats to our graduates – and their families

This is the week that always results in families across the county reminiscing about the past 12 years or so and what it has meant in the lives of their young graduate and their families.

As we get ready to say congratulations to 100 or so seniors who will be walking across the stage this week to accept that hard earned diploma that represents the success of their hard work, I always like to take a few minutes with this column and congratulate all of those seniors, but especially the athlete members of this graduating class, and their families.

For much of those 12 years, in one or more sports, you not only completed the necessary classwork that kept you on schedule to graduate, but you did so while juggling the extra duties that were involved with the extra curricular sport – or sports in many instances – you had chosen to participate in.

Practice sessions, conditioning work, and of course games or matches, were all added to your normal class work and you pulled it off in style.

While non-athletes won’t really understand, let me tell you that without a doubt, the involvement you committed yourself to by being involved in sports have produced lessons and experiences that I guarantee you will lean on for the rest of your lives.

As you continue to grow and mature, you are going to constantly find yourself making decisions in life’s travels that are directly related to an experience you gained and learned from already, while being a part of a team effort during your athletic career.

For many, your athletic career has now come to an end, while a few of your will be fortunate enough to continue on a college level for a few years. Congrats on a great job in both cases.

As I have urged athletes who are graduating for many years in this space, I ask you graduates to take a few minutes and thank that person or person who has also spent countless hours making sure your athletic career up to this point was not only enjoyable for you – but even available.

Hours and hours and miles and miles of waiting and traveling to practice sessions and games. Cleaning uniforms and urging that school work had been completed. Someone in your circle went the extra mile to help you along in this area – thank them.

Finally – as you cross that stage on Friday night, put your hands on that diploma and switch sides with your tassels, you move from a student at Clinton County High School to an alumni.

Think about the others who have been in the stands and on the sidelines for your games and matches – yelling support and cheering for your success. Many were also where you were when those games were going on.

Come on back and support those who are coming on to fill your shoes on the courts and the fields and the courses.

While you may be moving from the standing of an athlete to that of an alumni, there is one thing that will never change

You will always be a member of one of the most elite, proud and dedicated groups of people I have ever known – even if I myself claim a membership in the same group.

You’ve seen it here time and time again over the years, and it’s something that can never ever be taken away from you – cherish it and wear it proudly, forever.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, but know that regardless of your moving on from high school status . . .once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog!

In the meantime – let’s take it outside for a few months!