The Significance of Senior Night

Jake Reynders, Sports Writer

For many, Senior Night is viewed simply as a celebration of seniors who have worked hard to benefit the athletics program of a school. At Pinewood, it is so much more than that. When seniors were asked what the special night meant to them, multiple described it as a celebration of the past, and a step into the future.

Pinewood girls basketball has always been the pride of Pinewood. Senior Skylar Chui has been a large part of that pride over the past four years. She said she will miss the team dynamics

“I genuinely have never been on a team with a group of girls who all love each other like our team,” Chui said. “I like how we can give each other constructive criticism on the court and then be best friends off the court.”

Chui said that Senior Night was a tear-jerking and amazing event.

“My favorite parts of the night were the crowd and the senior speeches,” Chui said. “The crowd was amazing. I’ve never seen so many people come out to our games in a while.”

While Chui will miss her team and all the memories she’s made with her teammates, she was endless in her plaudits for her head coach.

“While [girls basketball head coach Doc Scheppler] gets a lot of recognition for being a shooting coach…he is more than that,” Chui said. “Effort is really something that Doc emphasizes… Doc has helped me get my mindset to one that wants to give things all of my effort.”

 Chui said that the improvement in effort has been noticeable, and she is grateful to Scheppler for helping her both on and off the court.

 Boys basketball senior Daniel Blotter said he was thankful for his head coach Larry Williams and the trust he put into him.

“He has always believed in me being able to be an asset to this team and I am so grateful for that,” Blotter said.

Blotter said that the Panther Pit was most memorable during senior night.

“The Panther Pit,” Blotter said. “I’ve never had a student section like that for one of my basketball games.”

Blotter described the support as awesome and said he will miss the competitive basketball play.

Girls soccer had a season full of excitement that ended in an amazing experience for the team’s leaders. When senior Rathi Kolappa was asked about her team, she only had positive remarks.

“I will miss the connections I have made within the team. I have become best friends with some of the girls on the team… I connected with people of all grades, and I’m going to miss being able to play with them together,” Kolappa said.

Kolappa said her senior night couldn’t have been better.

“I loved the energy and spirit the team brought to the game. Through cute face paint, headbands, and posters, it was all very sweet,” Kolappa said.

 Finally, Kolappa was full of praise when it came to her coach.

“I will miss [head coach Whitney] Wood so much now that the season’s over,” Kolappa said. “She made me feel so much more confident in myself, both on and off the field.”

On the contrary, Boys soccer ended a difficult season with a statement victory over Eastside, winning 5-3. When interviewed, senior Josiah Saberi was all about his teammates’ success.

“I am going to miss spending time with my friends and bonding with other students I wouldn’t spend time with outside of soccer,” Saberi said.

 Saberi said that his biggest lesson learned from his time with the soccer team was team communication and leadership.

“I learned a lot from [ head coach Bob Kamangar],” Saberi said. “I had a great time with him this season and I’m sad he will not be coaching in the future.”

In terms of Senior Night itself, Saberi was clear on his favorite moment.

“Devan [Reynard] scoring his first goal on the penalty kick and celebrating with my friends after.”

While the winter sports season brought ups and downs for Pinewood Athletics, there is one common part of being an athlete at Pinewood that all seniors will miss. The connections built through the love of sports will live with these students throughout their future endeavors.