Here’s to the Parents

If you look into the stands of any sport, you may see students crazily cheering on their friends during an important game. However, you will also see someone else: parents. Most parents make it to every game no matter how important the game to cheer on their kids.

Parents fight the blistering cold by bunching up in the stands, camera in hand and coffee in the other. Senior parents have been through four years of this, and they remarkably still make it to every game.

Mr. Esposito, a dad of varsity kicker Parker Esposito, said, “It is an emotionless ride through high school for a parent until senior year. It is always a proud moment for a parent to see their kid, senior year, representing their school in such a prestigious way.”

Hundreds of athletes at West are wrapping up their fall seasons- in football, cross country, boys soccer, girls field hockey, girls volleyball, and girls tennis. It can be a stressful time for seniors, applying to colleges, finishing up standardized tests, but school sports are a way to escape the monster that stress is.

As fall progresses, a few lucky teams look forward to playoffs, but some sadly finish their season early. Senior year comes and goes in a blur for students.

It is different for the parents. It is slowly ending, and they can see it coming, but cannot do anything to change the fact that their child is now a senior. Mrs. Winans, mother of varsity field hockey captain Emma Winans, said, “Emma is still in playoffs for field hockey, but once that is over I am not sure how I will hold on to her childhood. College just comes so fast, not only for the kids but for the parents, too.”

At West, there are Super Fans and then regular fans in the student fan section. These Super Fans are to be highly involved in sports, though mainly football.

Then there is Steve Lutz, a parent Super Fan. He is at every football, soccer, field hockey, and volleyball game to see the kids that he witnessed grow up from elementary school to senior year.

Mr. Lutz had this to say concerning all the kids he supports through high school: “It is the greatest joy cheering on all the kids I have watched grow up through the years. As this is their last year at West, I hope they all have as much fun as I do cheering them on the sideline.”

Parents are the backbone of sports at West. They pay the fees, attend the games, scream their child’s name during the game, and yell at the referees when there is a foul. Senior Alex Ruckstaetter, varsity goalie, said, “My mom may be the most passionate soccer mom there is at West. She screams and yells at us during the games, but I don’t think I would be able to perform my best if I didn’t see her before every game.”

The one night to commemorate the seniors for all their hard work is senior night. If parents did not feel the end coming before, then senior night will make it happen.

Mrs. Hirsch, mother of varsity soccer captain Ian Hirsch, said after the boys soccer senior game, “I have never been more proud of Ian as he walked me out onto that field. It was emotional, of course, for me because it was the realization that this was his last year and that he was actually a senior.”

This is to the parents who have been there for their child when they needed a ride to practice, when they forgot their uniform at home, and when they lost a tough game. Here is to the parents who will be there for their child next fall when he or she goes off to college.