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Senior moments

Monticello’s Sha-Shawn Drayton throws down a definitive dunk in the Panthers’ Senior Night 94-66 non-league win over Fallsburg. It was the 10th straight win for the Monties, who lost their subsequent game to Port Jervis by one point in OT.
Photos by Richard A. Ross,

By Richard A Ross
February 25, 2015

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — There was a large wooden placard in the dining hall of Camp Kokosing, an idyllic place in Vermont where I spent my summers from age eight to 18, and indeed a place in which I literally came to be. Inscribed on that aging oak board were the words, “Now is life’s most precious time.” For those seniors who take to the floor for their final home games of their high school careers, that Senior Night moment of recognition, the flowers imparted to parents and the photos taken comprise a powerful memory that will long endure. Last week and this, across the region, such ceremonies are taking place, and this writer would like to extend his warmest and heartiest congratulations and thanks to these elder statesmen and stateswomen who have given their all and made many a freezing cold winter night warmer and far more bearable.
For those teams that will be moving on to sectionals, there is still more to come, and consequently the impact of Senior Night hasn’t quite registered yet. But once that final buzzer sounds ending the season at whatever point that occurs, the finality of it all will sink in. It is the close of a chapter rife with memories, replete with triumphs and disappointments, smiles and tears. Winter will soon give way to spring and most senior athletes will immerse themselves in their final high school athletic endeavor— be it baseball, softball, golf, tennis, or track and field. In June there will be a final separation from all of this with graduation. But for now, with the looming end of basketball in particular, I will offer this piece of tribal wisdom: “Each new beginning comes from the end of some other beginning’s end.” Revel in the moment. Treasure the memories and marvel at how you have grown and emerged from the time that seems so long ago, when you first put on that uniform.