MSHS Senior Nights

Erica Sherwin, Reporter

Manitou Springs High School’s fall sports season is coming to an end, and to appreciate the seniors’ valuable participation, teams are hosting “senior nights” at their last Mustang home game. It is a bittersweet night for these student-athletes and has them reminiscing about past athletic experiences and high school careers over the past four seasons.

The first MSHS “senior night” happened on Thursday, Oct. 18, for two seniors on the boys’ soccer team. 

Varsity captain, Luke Donegan, has been a leader and role model for the program during all four years of high school. Donegan prides himself on being a captain. “I appreciate the strong leadership and strong team bonding the sport of soccer has taught me,” Donegan said. 

Senior Ido Shlomo was also recognized and congratulated. He recently moved to the United States from Israel and began playing on the junior varsity roster about halfway through the soccer season. They both handed red roses to their families as a “thank you” for their ongoing support and event attendance.

During the following week, specifically Thursday, Oct. 27, the Mustang girls’ volleyball team had their “senior night ” for the five starting varsity players. These players are Teryn Thime, Norah Jorstad, Ayla Flett, Grace Allen and Lily Glass, with the latter three being this year’s team captains. 

Before their game against the University Bulldogs, “the gym was covered in senior decorations and frames containing photos and little messages from our teammates,” Flett said. The girls’ parents “got us senior sashes,” Glass said, who expressed gratitude for all the parent support, especially from her mom, who is her “number one supporter in life and in volleyball.” When their names were announced from the varsity roster, all of their families and supporters walked them out, and an individual speech was prepared by one of the “non-seniors on varsity who read them to us on the mic,” Glass said. Some of the varsity players will continue their careers in volleyball after graduation whether it’s through club or in college. Due to the team’s hard work, they won regionals and are now state-bound, with their first game scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10. 

The fall season’s final “senior night” was on Friday, Oct. 28, for the boys’ football team and the cheerleading squad. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the team experienced a loss, ending with only three wins to six losses for the season, five being on the home field. While the “senior night” didn’t go exactly as planned, the seniors on the team, Tyler Maloney, Evan Scherr, Lucian Castilleja, and Mattew Barton, “made awesome memories and became brothers with the team along the way,” Maloney said. The families of the seniors walked down to the field after they were announced and heard a speech about each individual student-athlete before the boys played their final game.

“We’ve made awesome memories and became brothers with the team along the way.”

— Tyler Maloney

Although the football team lost, Maloney was able to run in for a touchdown in the last few seconds of the game. Maloney has “been playing football since kindergarten,” he said, and this was his last football snap at Manitou. It was an emotional moment for him and for all fans in the district who have supported him, including his “biggest supporter,” sophomore brother Preston Rhodes, and other teammates who ran to hug him after his final successful play. “It was just like out of a movie,” Maloney said. 

The girls’ cheerleading squad cheered for the Mustangs football game against Lamar. Even though most will cheer during the winter season for basketball, this was their last football game outside. The three senior leaders on the squad are Grace McCumber, Bailey Legere, and Clarissa Snow. “Sometimes the seasons seem long; it goes by too fast,” McCumber said. “Enjoy cheering now because you will definitely miss it.”

Unlike the other fall sports teams highlighted, the cross country and golf teams didn’t have “senior nights” because they had no home competitions. To honor their only senior, Lairden Rogge, the Mustang cross country team will show their appreciation on Nov. 16 at their end-of-year banquet. Rogge will be continuing with track and field after graduation at a college of his choosing but wants to remind young athletes to “keep practicing and grinding and then the results will come”. Thanks for the memories and inspiration, seniors!