Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Shanor’s message to the seniors:
Though this is not how you wanted your last season to end, this is not the end. This is the closing of one chapter of your life, but an opening for another. Take the memories, friendships and accomplishments you have made in the last few years and cherish them.
Do not dwell on the premature ending of your softball career (if it is), but instead, let this make you stronger. Look forward to what you are going to do next. Look forward to going to college. Look forward to serving your country in the United States Army. Look forward to doing what you are going to do next.
Most importantly, be proud that you have left this program making a difference and being a teammate that others will soon strive to be. My hope is that you graduate feeling that the GHS Softball program gave you memories, friendships and a life lesson or two that you will come back to.
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Lastly, it has been a pleasure to get to coach each of you. Each senior this year has touched my heart and will forever be special to me. I cannot wait to see what incredible things you each do in life.
The seniors’ thoughts:
“Yes, I am OK. No, I have no clue what’s going on. Yes, I am sad about everything that has happened. I have been asked many questions about how I am feeling about the earth in the past few weeks. In all honesty, I don’t have words for my feelings, or how the pandemic has changed my life and everyone’s around me. How am I supposed to feel about this?
“I am an introvert, I’ve been training for this my entire life without knowing it, but my life has changed less than others, but it still has changed. I’m human and we’re creatures of habit, so my mind is as jumbled as others.
“My school year has been practically broken into unrecognizable pieces, no prom, no sports, no real goodbyes to the acquaintances and friends I have made throughout the last four years. Knowing the next time I see any of them, I’ll be too awkward to even say hello.
“I can’t leave my house to see my friends or family because I am scared and just shouldn’t go out for safety. This is history in the making and it feels crazy to me. So, what have I been doing to pass the time and get my mind off of the world as it feels like it’s crumbling around me?
“I am trying to put a smile on my face, thanking myself that I have as many hobbies as I do. Every hobby puts me into a different mindset to help me get by. Reading makes me feel other emotions I didn’t know I could. Painting makes me express my emotions I didn’t know I needed to get out of my system. Gardening is a distraction when I need to leave the world for a little while, just like how softball did for years.
“I am pushing on. I know all will be OK in the end, so I’ll paint that smile on my face and I’ll keep living the life the only way I know how, in graceful awkwardness. I don’t know how many people will read this, but if there is anything I want to get across, it is to smile. If you force a smile, then you will eventually be smiling for real.”
Katelyn Luman, “Axel”
“It’s funny how everyone expects us to be OK with school closing. Most people try and act like they know how we feel or think it’s not that bad. What people don’t understand about this is that we never thought our last day of practice would be our last.
“It was game day, the entire team was pumped. The three of us seniors were ready to start our final season together. The night before game day, we got a text that our games were canceled because of the coronavirus. I thought it was a joke but it wasn’t.
“The next day we went to school and had a fun practice, we played a game of survivor. It started to rain so we headed inside to Coach’s room and Coach (Shanor) gave us our new cleats that we thought we would use for the season.
“Then came the bad news — all of our games are canceled until further notice. Every player looked around at us seniors and we stayed acting tough and unaffected. We left Coach’s room heartbroken and in disbelief — our senior season gone.
“I still had hope until school was completely canceled. Then everything hit me at once. I’ll never play high school ball again, I’ll never sit in class with the kids I’ve come to know, I’ll never walk down those halls as a student again. And I kept thinking about what else might get taken away. Prom? Graduation?
“All I know is that it hurt to have everything taken away so fast and there isn’t anything we can do about it.
“To every student, little girl and softball player that sees this, take every moment you get as if it were your last. You never know what will happen. I’m glad I got to grow to be a leader while it lasted. But to every player, play your heart out. You only get to play for so long and once it’s gone, you’re definitely going to miss it.
“Take as many pictures as possible. Make the most out of every experience together. And just play your heart out, give every little thing you have to that field each and every game and practice. Your team will be a group of your best friends, and never take anything for granted. The experiences and friends you make on that field will last a lifetime — cherish as much as you can. Over and out. -Axel”
Alyssa Santillan, “Isa”
“People continue to ask me how I feel about my senior softball season coming to an end before even starting, and each time I just sit there, not knowing what to say because they don’t understand. When I first found out that my senior season was swept under my feet I was devastated.
“Last year as a junior, I lost the opportunity of playing because I had come across a bad shoulder injury and I had to take a year off. As senior year was approaching, I had a mentality of coming back and being a good player as I was before.
“Although I didn’t get that opportunity I wanted, I still had the opportunity to become a team leader I always aspired to be. I will forever be grateful for being a Goddard Lady Rocket, and I will miss my team.
“To the upcoming girls, continue to play your hearts out each and every game! Day in and day out, no matter what, always leave 110% out on that field because you never know when your last game is.
“Not only was my softball season taken away, but the rest of my senior year. I won’t get to fully say goodbye to those who I’ve gone to school with since Pre-K. All because life happens for a reason, God has some kind of plan for all of this. We can’t control what goes on in this crazy world of ours, but we can continue to grow and move forward.
“One last thing I would like to say is thank you to my parents, Nars and Gloria Santillan. Without y’all continuously pushing me to do whatever my heart desired, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I love you both so much.
“Another huge thank you to my coaches. Coach Shanor and Coach Ashley, knowing how hard I could be on myself during bad days, you both continued to never give up on me and I’m forever thankful to have gotten the opportunity to be coached by two amazing people! I love and appreciate you both very much! -Isa out.”
From Coach Richard:
“To our seniors, you will be missed. Good luck next year and I look forward to the great things you will accomplish. To our returning team, keep working hard, stay hungry and I look forward to a great season next year.”
From Coach Ashley:
“‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ You worked extremely hard to be the team that we became. I couldn’t be any prouder to have coached you. We know this season didn’t go as planned and our seniors will be missed greatly. They were great leaders, teammates and friends. We will overcome these obstacles and bounce back stronger than ever.”
From Coach Roberts:
“To the seniors: Thank you for the past years of hard work. Don’t forget the lessons and the memories this sport has given you. Keep working hard for what you desire to do and great things will come your way! Once a Rocket, always a rocket!
“To the returning team: This was just a detour in the road to what you want to achieve. Don’t stop working and striving for the goals you had set for this year, let those goals be your motivation to keep working toward next year. I look forward to a great season next year!”
Coach Shanor’s message to the program:
Unfortunately, this was a hard lesson learned. Coaches from all programs have said it a time or two: You are not guaranteed anything. If there is one thing that we learn from this season, it is that we need to cherish our time together, work hard and play our hearts out every single game.
We are not always guaranteed a season and it is my hope that we bounce back from this lesson stronger than ever. I hope to see every girl diving to make a remarkable play, swinging for the fences, and working hard to get better every day, on and off the field.
By Katie Shanor
Special to RDR Sports