Finishing the final year strong

Senior athletes reflect on accomplishments, lessons, and motivators as their senior year of being a fall athlete comes to a close


STRIDING TO THE FINISH: Senior Matthew Croddy competes in his race on senior night. Croddy finished first along with junior Jean-Luc Euzen.

Playing in his final year, senior Ryan Papandria, a two year varsity starter, competes in his season of the Roncalli football team as a player. Therefore, Papandria and the football team have set goals to complete this season such as win the coveted state championship and grow stronger together. Therefore, Papandria strides into every practice and game pumped and excited for any challenge himself and the team might face. 

“Every game could be the last and could be one last game we get to play,” Papandria said.

Throughout his past four seasons, Papandria has received support from his family and friends every game especially his dad.

“My dad is my biggest inspiration; he shows up to every single game,” Papandria said. “He will even get mad if he can’t make it.”

Besides learning on the field, Papandria has received life messages and lessons through competing in Roncalli football. The practice and game field have both served as vital parts in Papandria’s growth. 

“Adversity strikes at any time what matters is handling that adversity in any situation in life and football, Papandria said.”

Similarly, senior Miranda Wilson has battled on the girls volleyball team for the past four years. Wilson has strived on and off the court through teammates, coaches, family, and friends. Similarly, most athletes wait four years for the opportunity to be honored during senior night. 

“I felt like the center of attention, but I was very thankful and made me realize that I had a lot of support from friends and family,” Wilson said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

In addition to these memories, having motivators can help athletes while perfecting their craft off the practice court as well. Consequently, participating in these athletics can provide opportunities to strengthen given any situations. 

“Instead of backing down from them [obstacles], use them as an opportunity to make yourself into a stronger person,” Wilson said. 

Likewise, senior cross country runner Matthew Croddy is competing in his final year for this sport. Throughout his four years he has learned about hard work and dedication. 

“My main goal was to be an effective leader for the team and to push my teammates to be the best runner they can be,” Croddy said. 

Additionally, Croddy has learned about becoming a better leader to get the best out of his teammates. 

I have learned the values of leadership, respect, and trust and how I need to live them out in both a team setting during the season and also outside of the team, Croddy said.