The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School

The Mustang Moon

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Walking Through Senior Lasts

Renae Woods
Senior Peyton Simpson drives towards her Benton defender. Simpson is averaging 14 points per game. Mount Vernon beat Benton 53-45 Dec. 5.

As an incoming freshman, you are told to partake in any opportunities your schedule allows. These activities could help you make your friends and memories that can last a lifetime. There are also countless hours spent practicing. However, even if these long hours seem boring you can’t take them for granted. 

“Don’t take your friendships and your coaches for granted because they are all there for you,”  senior Peyton Simpson says. The friendships you make while playing high school sports can last a lifetime. As a student-athlete, you spend seven hours of your day at school, and then right after the bell rings you leave to go to practice. These practices can range from an hour to multiple hours. During this time you create a special bond with the other players because they are sharing the same experiences as you. These in-the-moment funny or difficult experiences make it so you grow closer to your teammates whether you notice it or not. “I’ve been playing basketball since I was in first grade,” says Simpson. Simpson played on a team called X-tream run by a few players’ parents and some of these girls have continued to play together all the way to their senior year. This is an example of a way that some lifelong friendships have formed through just going out and trying a new sport. 

“I would say something to not take for granted is all the opportunities that you are given within your sport, especially the club teams that your parents put you in” senior Brynley Rasmussen says.  “They are there for you to make you better and to be the best you can be. So go to every practice and game wanting to get better and put the work in.” She also mentioned that she thinks club teams are really beneficial to social life. “Club teams help force you to make friends outside of your school friend groups,” says Rasmussen, who has been playing basketball since she was in fourth grade. A couple of main clubs she’s also played on are Iowa Prep and the same XTreme basketball team that Simpson played on. She has continued to play up until her senior year meaning that she and Simpson have been playing together during school and club-season since elementary school. 

Being a student-athlete isn’t the only way to make friends through a sport. Many people also make friends who they might not have otherwise hung out with while managing a certain sport. An example of this was shown through Lily Rechkemmer’s football managing experience. “I was so lucky to have three amazing girls I shared this season with and a few other girls in the past. Outside of football I rarely see these girls so it was so special to spend so much time with them,” says Rechkemmer, a senior. Managing has made a huge impact on Rechkemmer’s life and she even said that she would be open to managing sports in college however she would rather be staying involved by doing some type of media for the team. Even Though managing football didn’t necessarily make her want to manage a ton of other high school sports she mentioned that managing football really helped with her work ethic and she liked the responsibilities that were put on her as a manager. Rechkemmer also mentioned that she is going to miss being a part of an incredible team run by incredible people. 

Managing sports is also a great way to connect upperclassmen with underclassmen. This is shown through Gwen Steine’s experience, as she started managing volleyball her freshman year. “I was able to make friends with the whole team and that includes lower classmen who I wouldn’t have had the chance to interact with otherwise. And in my first season, I got to meet and make friends with upperclassmen,” says Stenie, who is now a senior. Being able to manage volleyball all four years of her high school experience made it so that every year she was able to meet new people and make new friends. Managing volleyball also didn’t make Steine want to manage other sports but it made her want to get involved in more activities to be around the special team atmosphere again.  

It can be difficult to manage both good academic performance and participate in sports. Even though sports can take up a lot of your free time and make it so during your free time you have to work on homework instead of going out with friends, many say after their season they’re glad they put as much effort into their sport as they did. “I am happy with all the hours I put into basketball although it wore me out sometimes because without all the work I have put in I would not be anywhere near where I am today,” says Rasmussen.

For some people, all the hours put toward a certain sport are not only to perform well in high school but to also get good enough to play at the collegiate level.  “I think that all the hours I have dedicated to the sport were worth it because basketball is my favorite and I love every minute. Ever since I was little I wanted to play college basketball and being able to tell my younger self that I have achieved that because of all my work is enjoyable,” says Simpson. Simpson is now planning on playing at an undecided college which will help her get even better and make even more friends. 

“As a senior I’m excited that I get to play basketball one last time with some of the people who were there when I was introduced to basketball. I started basketball later than most kids did and growing up so playing one last time with this group of people is pretty cool to me,” says Rasmussen. Even though Rasmussen doesn’t want to play basketball in college she is still proud of how far she has come in her basketball career being a varsity player since her sophomore year. One of Rasmussen’s favorite memories from her basketball career was when they had a scrimmage but accidentally showed up a day early. 

Even though Simpson doesn’t know when her last time with this group of girls will be, she is still looking at the positive of getting to play one more season with them. 

“I am pretty excited for this season and not really sad. I think I am more excited because I get to play with my best friends one last time while knowing that it will not be my last time playing basketball,’ says Simpson. One of Simpson’s favorite memories during her basketball career was recently when Sanderson crossed up Sydney Huber at practice. 

Sports have many ups and downs but these Seniors wouldn’t take back anything they sacrificed to get to where they are today. They also are excited to play their last season with their best friends and aren’t going to take anything for granted in their final season. 

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