As the semester comes to a close, so do the number of days that a young man is able to put on the pads and uniform of his collegiate team; however, his days as a member of a team, last forever. Not to harp on the cliché point that countless media outlets have dwelled on, but these seniors have been through it all, and yet have remained poised and stronger than the average college football player. It’s time to say goodbye to Penn State Football seniors.
I cannot say that I know any of these young men personally, but I can say that I respect the journey that they have embarked upon. This chapter may very well be the end of a career in football for some, but for a few, it is only the end of the second book in a trilogy. They chose to represent The Pennsylvania State University after a disturbing and haunting scandal that came to life. Maybe it was because they realized that they could be a brief distraction for fans and the nation; or maybe it was they believed in the concept of putting the interest(s) of the team before their individual efforts.
Not only are their athletic achievements impressive, but their work in the classroom is inspiring to future university student-athletes. At least three of these seniors have earned a grade point average higher than 3.5. To be able to balance the academic, practice and game schedules is a task that the average traditional student would shy away from once he is exposed to the hard work and dedication that goes into performing well in all three areas. For that reason, seniors, I personally applaud your efforts.
Growing up, my mother instilled in me the importance of understanding that I not only represent myself, but my family as well. Considering the efforts that you all, as a unit, have set forth—you have not only represented yourselves well, but your immediate and Penn State families immensely well. You have remained collected on the fields and sidelines—even during the tougher plays and games that did not always fair in your favor. You all have bought into the system of unity and family, and it shows; when we, as fans, watch the games we see a unit dressed in blue and white—not the individual (besides the occasional and acceptable breakout individual plays). You all have shown us what a team is capable of: not dwelling on defeat, pushing forward to victory, yet remaining humble.
So, congratulations seniors. Although your last game in Beaver Stadium did not produce the yearned for result, remember there is always a place that you can call home, and that home will welcome you back with a roar 107,000 strong.
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