One my of my favorite times of the year is the end of May. This is the time when we celebrate all the athletic accomplishments from our student-athletes at both the Middle School and Upper School Athletics Banquets. I have the honor of hosting the Middle School Banquet as the athletics director and speaking at the Upper School Banquet as a coach. Both experiences mean a lot to me due to how much the players have an impact on my life.
During the Middle School Athletics Banquet, I’m able to hear each coach tell the crowd what their teams accomplished during their season, and most importantly what character traits were taught, learned, and exhibited by all. The common theme for each coach’s speech is that they came together as a team and played for each other. In my opinion, that in itself is a successful season. The speeches I enjoy the most are from the players. In the past, I have heard passionate and heartfelt speeches by the players. They describe their seasons in the most thoughtful and truthful way. It’s amazing to watch the impact that the coaches have had on the players through a players’ own words.
The aspect that is celebrated the most at the Middle School Banquet is how much each athlete has contributed during that particular academic year. The most prestigious awards that are given during the banquet are the yearly Tri-Athlete Awards and the three-consecutive-year tri-athlete Steven B. Stewart Award. Harrisburg Academy recognizes that an athlete’s three-season participation is a huge time commitment and sacrifice. That is why we save these awards for last.
The final part of the night is arguably the students’ favorite — the season recap picture show. We all gather in McCormick Auditorium and watch all the memories of the year in just 10 minutes. This isn’t nearly long enough time to describe and reflect on the impact each season has had on the players and coaches. However, it’s a nice way to end the year and hear the players’ reactions to the action shots that display on the screen. It’s the perfect way to look back on the year and look forward on the upcoming season. See you all on the fields and courts during the 2016-17 year!