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End of an Era

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Mr Stephenson in High School

Mr Stephenson in High School

Mr Stephenson in High School

Rebekah Fillmore and Brenna Murnion

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 “Every story has an end, but in life every end is a new beginning.”

 

     The night of his last football game is still clear in his mind. The Montana sun had set, Absarokee’s stadium lights shining down on the field. The night was beautiful, the atmosphere filled with the smell of fall and tension of the game to come. As the game began, the crowds’ roars increased as numbers were beginning to get higher on the scoreboard. He closed his eyes and pictured his steps, and how it felt to cross into the end zone for the fourth time that night. Every tackle, every play, every move and blow of the whistle could still be felt, heard, and envisioned, a shadow of a memory from a victorious game.

    “There’s something about playing under those lights that just feels awesome,” current history teacher at GCDHS Bob Stephenson said. He says that he was “absolutely lucky, fortunate, and honored to play high school sports” and that they helped him gain confidence which made him more successful as both an athlete and person. Learning that he was part of something bigger was really important to him.  As helping others become better made him feel almost better than just succeeding by himself.

Ending high school sports was difficult and sad at times for the first couple of years, but Stephenson eventually refocused on making a living. “All good things come to an end, and that’s high school sports,” he said. Although his priorities and motives changed, the memories from 37 years ago still hold fond and fast in his heart.

Stephenson’s advice to high school athletes is to enjoy sports while they can. “Deep down you know it’s going to come to an end.” he said.

Sports are an important part of all our small town Montana communities. Here at GCDHS sports start early in life, most kids are in peewee basketball by the time they start kindergarten.

At high school football games, younger children throw a football around on the sidelines, and someone always brings a volleyball to pass around. In junior high, the reality of winning and losing in a competition starts sink in, and once you start high school, it has even greater meaning.

True time and dedication is needed to succeed in any sport, and high school athletes have to be willing to make many sacrifices to make themselves and their team better. Mrs. Beth credits her high school coaches for inspiring in her a tough work ethic that she hopes to pass on to future athletes and graduates. “I’m trying to make you better than your excuses,” GCDHS head volleyball coach and business teacher Beth Lawrence said.

After putting so much time, love, and effort into sports in high school, it can be hard for it to end. Especially when you know you won’t be playing in college. “It’s very sad. It’s something I looked forward to every year and I can’t do that anymore. I love volleyball so much, and the thought of not playing competitively ever again is really sad, it’s really emotional,” senior Macy Fogle said.

    “Sports has given me a sense of leadership, I can be a role model for the other kids.” Macy has been very involved in sports since junior high. She started playing volleyball in sixth grade, and her freshman year, she became the basketball manager for both teams, and has been amazing in all her responsibilities. “I really am going to miss being manager. Being there to support the team, I’m the background person, I love taking care of everyone, and being part of the team. With volleyball, I’ll miss the sport itself, when you hit the ball so hard no one can dig it up, or you get a dig, and everyone’s cheering. I’m really going to miss the crowd. I don’t want it to be over,” Macy said through tears.

Macy’s advice to high school athletes is to enjoy every moment, and to work your hardest. Macy is also going to miss the coaches and all the friends she has made through sports. “It’s gonna be weird, not having those sports to go to. I don’t like it. I guess every good thing comes to an end.”

Although ending sports in high school and moving on to your adult life can be bittersweet, many former athletes still stay involved with sports through intramural teams, their own children, and coaching. Plus, there’s nothing like coming back to support your home team.

Mr Stephenson

Macy Fogle

 

About the Writer
Brenna Murnion, Reporter

Brenna Murnion is a freshman at GCDHS. She participates in volleyball, basketball,track, and Academic Olympics. This is her first year on the Sagebrush...

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End of an Era