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May 20, 2010 - Ed Puskas
The end of a high school sports team's season is almost always tinged with a bit of a melancholy feeling, simply because unless the end results in a championship, it's not what the players and coaches wanted.
But the emotions seem to bubble up even more with baseball, softball, track and field and tennis.
Why? Spring sports, for high schools, really marks the end of perhaps one of the most special times of their lives. When football, soccer or volleyballs reach the end of the line in the fall or early winter, often those athletes can still look ahead to participating in a winter sport like basketball, swimming or wrestling. Or perhaps to the spring.
But when a senior baseball player has had his final at-bat or thrown his final pitch, not only is the season over, but high school itself has just about come to an end. The story is the same for softball, track and tennis.
It's not just a season-ending defeat. Even if an athlete is fortunate enough to be part of a championship effort -- for example, you can be sure the area will have its share of track state champions once again -- there still will be a palpable sense of loss.
This is the time of year when high school seniors say goodbye to their schools, their friends and, to a point, the lives they've known to this point.
It's a bittersweet time no matter how the games come out.
The memories of the spring of 1985 are still vivid for those of us who walked out the front doors of our high schools 25 years ago.
Has it been that long?
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