Senior night is a celebration in the world of high school sports. It always has been.
It gives senior athletes the spotlight for their last home game of their high school careers in any given sport. We celebrate them for their achievements, their hard work and their dedication to their sport, school, coaches and teammates.
It serves as a sense of closure for many who are winding down their athletic careers. Only a handful are able to continue their athletic careers beyond high school.
Many fell in love with the game that they chose to dedicate so much of their time to at a young age. They've always had their sport to rely on.
Of course with the coronavirus hitting earlier this year, many athletes experienced for the first time in their lives an existence without sports.
In 2020, senior night carries more weight than it ever has.
Luckily for most Vermont high school fall sports athletes, their sport returned in some fashion this fall.
Some games, like football, look completely different. Others have relatively no changes to the way the game is played. What is most important at the end of the day, especially for the senior athletes, is that the games are being played.
The 2020 spring sports season was lost. Last year's seniors never got the chance to wear their school jersey one last time, go for a personal record, win a state championship or even practice with teammates that became friends through their journey together on the fields and courts.
The game was taken away from them, without warning. They lacked the closure that senior night brings to so many athletes.
The class of 2021 lost their chance at their junior year spring sports. They got a dose of how it feels when something was taken away from them unexpectedly.
The Mount Anthony football team celebrated their senior day on Tuesday. The Arlington boys soccer celebrated on Wednesday.
It's crazy to think that senior nights are already being celebrated throughout the state. The fall sports season began on Sept. 26. Vermont is just four weeks into the season. It is a shorter season, however, as the coronavirus pushed back the start date.
These athletes had waited seven months to play a sport for their school. They spent all summer not knowing if their senior season would be canceled, too.
These senior nights might be a little different. The crowds might not be as large as usual, with the limitations of 150 spectators still in place statewide. Parents and athletes are struggling to decide to keep the mask on or take it off for the photo op before the game.
The bottom line is Vermont has made it to the senior night portion of their schedule, indicating the end of the regular season. The senior athletes were given the opportunity to put on their jersey one last time.
Congratulations to all senior athletes who have taken this adversity head-on and continue to compete.