The Role of Seniors on Milton Sports Teams
By Michelle Chen ‘22
As the 2018-19 school year approaches its end, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the seniors who have made huge contributions to their sports teams. Their contributions towards their teams include their performances on the playing fields but also to their ability to bring their teams together, be role models, and give advice for younger teammates in areas beyond athletics.
I remember walking into the ACC for the Girls’ Cross Country captain’s practice during the fall. Back then, I didn’t know anyone else, and I definitely didn’t expect to make any senior friends. But, as soon as I arrived, some of them came over to me and introduced themselves; we started chatting, and we were soon able to find our similarities in different aspects. These small gestures helped me to learn a little bit more about some of the seniors every time we talked and also made me feel a lot more welcome in my team and in the broader Milton community. They embodied the Milton spirit and were therefore able to pull the team closer together.
The seniors on Milton sports teams were great motivators of their fellow teammates. Being on sports teams is a huge commitment: training for two hours a day, five days a week is hard enough, not to mention going to games almost every weekend and trying to win or beat your personal record. These moments are when you could really use some motivation, or according to Ariane DesRosiers ‘19, “people [that you can] endure through physical pain together.” When Ariane came to Milton as a new sophomore, she joined the Milton girls’ cross country team in the fall and the swim team in the winter. She “had a great experience on both teams and [thought that] it was really nice coming in as a new student and meeting so many great people.” I still remember my first cross country meet of the season: Lawrence was an excruciating course, and everyone was exhausted by the seemingly endless hills and the warm weather, particularly towards the end of the race. But, I also clearly remembered the seniors cheering for everyone else throughout the race and at the finish line. The same thing happened during the swim season in the winter and the track and field season in the spring. The seniors were always cheering, even if they had just finished an event, because they put the need of their team over the need of themselves.
These seniors were also great friends and mentors beyond sports practice. They were usually willing to share their personal experiences with navigating school work and sports commitments, joining extracurriculars, or even just how to have fun. “Being on the same team makes [the seniors] essentially your peers/equals so you get to know them as close friends too,” says DesRosiers. “Back in 2017, there was a girl named Katie Friis on the Milton girls cross country team who introduced me to all the environmental clubs and basically became my mentor in the dorm. Without her, my experience would’ve been really different.” I personally met some of my greatest senior friends and role models by being on sports teams. They reach out to me in areas including but not limited to sports, and they motivate me to strive to become a better version of myself. I feel that the Milton seniors exert a positive influence on their younger teammates. My peers constantly talking about how awesome their senior friends on their sports teams are, how they have became great friends, and how these seniors set high standards for all Milton athletes.
Based on all these opinions from students of other grades, it is clear that Milton seniors have shown great leadership and responsibility though their words and actions. We are lucky that the precious connections between seniors and students of the other classes can be maintained, and we should all be proud of our seniors. So, before they graduate, be sure to congratulate and appreciate them for being such an amazing group of people that we’ll always look up to.