Friday Pt. 2

If there was going to be a sequel to the Heart & Hometown post, this would be it.

So if you’re still in your feelings about Senior Night, you might want to avert your eyes.

Because I’m most definitely still in my feelings and felt like I should have had some kind of something to go pass out myself to all those sweet faces on the court tonight—-probably along with all the other teachers who have those kids in class.

I mean come on—we could have had our own receiving line for them.

But…

Tonight Everly & I went to the ballgame to support some of our kids as usual, but it was a little more sentimental being that it was Senior Night.

On Senior Night, we honor the 12th grade players, cheerleaders, and managers for finishing their last season at Panther Arena {or field if it’s baseball/softball—homecoming is football}.

Tonight was a little bit different.

These seniors were starting their first year of high school when I started my first year of teaching, and I currently teach 3/4 of the ones honored tonight.

I’m a little proud because they’re such good kids & athletes in general.

These seniors are good kids, athletes, & ultimately role models.

They have promising futures & plans to be productive in life, and that’s all anyone could ever ask for.

The cheerleaders also had their mini-clinic girls perform at the 1st game’s halftime.

To say these little ones were overwhelmed with excitement to cheer with the big girls & in front of an arena of parents would be an understatement.

It’s just awesome to see teenagers take that kind of time with little girls who are dying to be just like them.

We are blessed with those sorts of kind-hearted kids in our town; they’re just more special because they’re ours.

After the 1st game was over, they let the boys in to prep & shoot while they lined everyone up to walk out and be recognized.

And as I’ve shared before–our kids are somethin’.

It says alot about a team that will come out together, gather together as young people, and take a knee to pray before the game.

So as they finished with their pre-game warm-ups & prayer, the senior boys were lined up last.

The arena was filled with clapping as each group was announced & their sponsors/coaches presented them with tokes of appreciation for giving their all throughout their high school years.

There were gigantic smiles, hugs all around with parents & grandparents, laughs, pictures with coaches, and there were tears shed.

Those tears pulled my heart strings.

I remember those same tears when I was a senior.

There were tears of realization that this was the last time to possibly play in Panther Arena; to walk on the court in uniform; to wear the uniform at all.

For some, the next time they walk out into the arena will be in their graduation ‘uniform’–that red cap & gown.

For others, the next time will be in our state tournament we are exceited to host in the next 2 weeks.

We live in Smalltown USA, in a town of 14,000 in South Arkansas.

We live where the community shows up & we show out for our students.

Like tonight {silent night}. No student made a single sound or cheerleader until that 10th point hit– as that ball went in for #10, that place went nuts. The beat started on the side walls from the students & the rants & the cheers & the chants were nonstop. The atmosphere our people brings is unbeatable.

We live where we’re more than proud to be a panther…

because the reality of it is…

it’s just another great day to be a panther.

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