Senior Logan Rose can remember watching the clock tick until it hit 2:40. Then the bell would ring and Rose, then a freshman, would head to the locker rooms to change into pads and strap on his helmet. The first few weeks were fun, but after a couple months practices became more of a daily grind. As much as he wanted to just go home and be with his friends, he kept his thoughts to himself. The last thing he wanted was for the coaches to get a bad impression of him.
He showed up early to practices and pushed himself as hard as he could. He remembers seeing the seniors practice and seeing how they pushed each other and worked hard day in and day out. He saw them as kids he could look up to and try to emulate. When all the seniors lined up with their families to be honored on senior night, a night where all the senior athletes on their respective sports team are recognized for their hard work, Rose saw it as a destination–he wanted to be standing in that place at the end of his senior season. But he could ever get there, he was going to have to prove himself to the coaches. He got a chance to do so when he was called to the scout team, which practiced with the varsity team, when he was a sophomore.
“We would just get drilled every practice,” Rose said. “The players were all bigger than us sophomores, and it was just not that much fun. That year we made the playoffs, and seeing the seniors continue to push the underclassmen made me stick with it.”
All the hard work paid off when Rose made the varsity team his junior year. Going into senior year Rose said that the senior football players became the leaders of the team after years of looking up to the previous year’s seniors.
“As seniors, coach Sherman always refers to us as ‘sitting at the head of the table’ meaning we’re the oldest out there on the field,” Rose said. “And as a group of seniors we are trying to make this the best season possible.”
Rose and the rest of the seniors have experienced a hectic season with injuries almost every week and even seeing some players getting dismissed for violating athletic policies.
“Being a senior, you feel like it’s your year and that all the other players are looking up to you,” Rose said. “Our goal was to win state and even with all the off field distractions, it still is. Ending your senior football season with a state title would be the ultimate accomplishment.”
Unfortunately for the seniors on the boys soccer team, their playoff run was short-lived after losing to Blue Valley Northwest 1-0 in the second round. Senior Jeremy Young, who has been playing soccer since kindergarten, says that game will probably stick with him for the rest of his life.
“Losing that last game was not how I wanted to end my East soccer career,” Young said. “I probably won’t ever forget that game, and how sad it was to end my senior season.”
After losing 17 seniors last year, the varsity soccer team had some new faces and were made to make changes to their set plays and playing style.
“Going into the season with a whole new team gave us a different challenge,” Young said. “It was really fun to get big wins against teams like Olathe East and making a run at the end of the season. Even though we fell short and were eliminated early, I’ll never forget the friendships I made with a lot of the players.”
The soccer team had a memorable senior night, beating SM West in overtime after being down 1-0 at halftime.
“The game was amazing,” Young said. “Seeing all the fans come out to the complex and hearing them cheer as loud as they did felt great. That with the overtime goal was crazy, I will never forget that game. It was weird because it didn’t feel like it was that long ago I was watching the older seniors line up.”
The volleyball team also came short of their expectations, finishing with a 12-12 record and lost to Blue Valley North for the third year in a row at sub-state. For senior Haley Hansford, her senior season was still memorable, despite their early exit.
“Even though the loss was heartbreaking, I had a blast with my team all year,” Hansford said. “One of my best memories this year was when we were down 12 points in the third game against Olathe Northwest and we came back and won,” Hansford said.
Hansford is proud of not only what she has won with the team but also the girls she has befriended over the years.
“I’m never going to forget the bonds I made and the friends I met through this program,” Hansford said. “I’m going to remember all the girls I met along the way, winning Sunflower League my sophomore and senior year, my coaches and just playing to represent my high school.”
As the athletic careers of fall sports seniors end with their fall seasons, the final seasons for senior winter athletes like Alex Schoegler are just beginning. Schoegler and the rest of the basketball team will be trying to improve from last year’s 7-15 record and that the seniors are all ready to make a final run at State.
“The whole team has gone to a lot of team camps in the summer and playing preseason games, Schoegler said. “We all want to make it to state and the only way to get there is by working hard and putting in the hours.”
Despite all the vigorous practices and seemingly endless amount of sprints Schoegler has had to go through, he will still miss wearing Columbia blue for the lancers.
“It’s really bittersweet going into your last season,” Schoegler said. “These past years in basketball have been pretty rough, but it’s all worth it in the end because it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Schoegler also believes that as the season progresses, the team’s work ethic will pick up even more.
“Knowing that this is my senior year will definitely pump me up throughout the season,” Schoegler said. “Knowing that this is probably my last year of organized basketball, I know it will hit me hard when senior night comes at the end of the season–I will work a lot harder and try to push the team as far as we can go.”
With the thought of this being the last season of “real basketball” in his life, Schoegler wants to not only go far with the team in playoffs but mostly relish his final season with his teammates.
“I want to go to state with this team,” Schoegler said. “But I really just want to have a lot of fun with the guys on the team and make the most out of it before it’s all over.”