The latter half of the school year is a party for the seniors, thrown by the juniors.
The juniors traditionally host prom for the seniors; they typically serve as ushers at graduation; and, on the girls basketball program and other teams, they’re responsible for organizing celebrations and parting gifts for the seniors.
And it all comes full circle the next year, when the juniors who hosted prom, served as ushers, and organized gifts are now the recipients.
“It’s kind of scary — losing so many great people,” Clear Creek junior Samantha Zebroski said of that transition in leadership. “And then next year, all that stress is on you.”
Zebroski and Campbell Hargitt, as the only juniors on the Clear Creek girls basketball team, are organizing celebrations for their four seniors — Aiden Kocol, Annika McKown, Loralei Murphy and Kimberly Pappen.
Securing gifts and preparing for the end-of-season banquet is “a good chance to step up and show the younger players what they can do” in the future, Hargitt said.
Additionally, the Golddiggers understand the need to play their best for the senior night game, which will be Feb. 18.
Murphy and Kocol recalled last year’s senior night game when only one of the team’s two seniors played, and everyone else played their absolute hardest for her sake.
The two commented how they appreciate Hargitt, Zebroski and the underclassmens’ support, as the team prepares for Feb. 18. With families prominently in the stands on senior night, having that support from the younger players is even more critical, they said.
Both the seniors and juniors recognized that the Golddiggers will have a new dynamic next year.
Zebroski said she admired how close the four seniors are, describing how they work so well off each other and how they’re able to read when something is off.
On top of that, Hargitt and Zebroski have been playing with the seniors for so long, they’ll have to adjust to a new dynamic on the court next year, Hargitt explained.
Kocol was confident that Zebroski and Hargitt will serve well in their role as leaders next year, and hoped they stayed committed to the sport and their underclassmen.
Murphy hoped that the two juniors will maintain the program’s intensity, and build on it if they can.
After all, if they learned anything from their seniors, Zebroski and Hargitt said, it’s how to try their best.
The two described learning how to take constructive criticism, as the seniors are always “trying to help you get better at the game,” Hargitt explained.
“We’ve learned everything from them,” she continued. “‘Don’t be lazy; try your best.’”
Zebroski said they taught the younger players that they shouldn’t “get stuck in the game” and that they need to have fun.
The juniors said that their seniors taught them not only how to be better players, but how to be better and stronger people. And that’s something they hope to impart as seniors next year, when everything comes full circle.