The Spring Hill College men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with the cheer and dance team, honored their senior athletes after the home games against Lane College on Saturday evening.
The SHC senior student athletes were recognized for their hard work and dedication throughout this season and the past four years. The last two years were particularly challenging due to changing COVID rules and regulations. This year eighteen seniors were honored from both the basketball team and the cheer and dance teams.
The men’s basketball team kicked off Senior Night by creating a tunnel for the seniors and their families to walk through as the members cheered and congratulated each senior. A few seniors even danced their way through the tunnel.
The parents of each senior handed a bouquet of flowers and balloons to their child before they posed for a photo with the women’s basketball Coach Karen McConico. Coach McConico gifted a personalized framed photo collage to her players. After receiving their photo, a group photo was taken.
The men’s basketball coach, Craig Kennedy, also handed his players a framed photo of themselves and hugged them. Coach Kennedy loses two seniors: Christian Brandt, who is the men’s basketball student coach, and forward David Daniels.
Last year, the Spring Hill basketball team's 2020-2021 season was halted due to COVID-19 and throughout this year players have faced many challenges.
SHC’s Athletic Director, Joe Niland, knows firsthand the struggles that these senior athletes have gone through because of COVID. He says, “They have been through a lot, I mean just the requirements of testing and vaccinations..” The season was unpredictable, and it took a toll on some players.
The dance and cheer teams will say goodbye to graduating seniors Nate Manning, Reese Lebbing, Summer Poole, Emily Hoven, Kiersten Turpeau, India Hall, and Celena McLaren.
Coach McConico will lose almost half of her squad: Zariea Ector, Katie Krout, Brandy Lee, Carrington Matias, Cassidy McDaniels, Aallya Nascimento, Mathilde Nicolas, Paige Taylor, and Shanteria Witherspoon.
SHC’s mascot, Beaumont the Badger, greeted each player with a high-five or a hug. Fans stomped their feet on the bleachers as each senior passed through and some fans had cardboard cutouts of senior players on the court.
Senior point guard Zareia Ector noted how hard this season had been. “This year it affects me, and it becomes aggravating because I have to constantly move my schedule around to accommodate the basketball schedule,” said Ector.