Social distancing spurs unique senior night
While the spring high school sports season was canceled by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, local teams did not miss the opportunity to honor graduating seniors who missed their last season.
Lansing and Basehor-Linwood’s girl’s swimming teams gathered May 11 at Lansing High School to honor the team’s seniors in drive-by fashion to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“It was a chance for them to come up to the school and see their senior banner hanging in the pool,” head coach David Bresser said. “We let them come in one at a time to look at them.”
Bresser said they also practiced social distancing in the team photo which shows each senior standing at least six feet apart from each other.
“Given the restrictions that we have, you know, have them in the parking lot,” he said. “It was kind of strange because they all kind of just stayed in their own spot there and talk to each other but they were shouting.”
The event honored 13 total seniors between the two teams. Maria Stieben and Molly Blankenship were recognized for Basehor-Linwood while Alixandra Lawler, Samantha Moburg, Paige Taylor, Sara Gorski, Anne Strukel, Kristen Dennis, Peyton Faulk, Aubrie Penfield, Heather Ober and Gracie Slattery made up the Lansing seniors.
Bresser said the team’s underclassmen took it upon themselves to organize gifts for the seniors.
“I was really impressed with my the juniors of the class,” he said. “They paired up and took a couple of seniors and put together a plan personalized gift for them. They found out what their favorite candy is or what their favorite snack was and put together a little basket.”
While seniors across the country missed the opportunity to participate in a commencement ceremony, Bresser said the accomplishment itself shows the progress his swimmers have made in their high school career.
“Those events are very special for me, and I really enjoy being there and being part of it,” he said. “I see their growth and development and I think that that's, aside from the pool competition, is really what they're here to achieve. And to see them achieve that, it is pretty amazing.”