If you made a list of things you miss from your youth, sports would likely be at the top of that list. For the vast majority of kids, playing the game(s) they love fall to the wayside after the final bell of their senior year.
All the camaraderie of playing with the same kids for years, sharing the same goals and being in each others’ fondest memories comes to an end.
That realization has finally began to set in for the seniors for the Douglas Ice Cats, most of which have been on the team for nearly a decade or longer.
Seniors, including Dayton Case, Forrest Cole, Mackenzie Suppes, Nate Volk, Jaryn Evans and David Kaper were honored this past Saturday as the Douglas Ice Cats celebrated senior day.
One by one the seniors were called out on to the ice flanked by their parents as the announcer read off their best memories with teammates and advice they have for the younger athletes who inevitably will one day have to say goodbye to the game.
“If you find something you love to do, don’t ever take it for granted,” team captain Jaryn Evans said. “Time is short especially when you find that something to take pride in. Give all your work and dedication and never give up.”
Suppes, who intends on going to Casper College to study Physical Therapy after high school, continued that narrative commenting on how fast it all goes by.
“My advice is you can play hockey for a short amount of time in your life. Eleven years seems like a long time, but it flies by so enjoy it while you can and never take for granted the time you have.”
After graduation, life will separate the teammates as they pursue future endeavors and careers.
Kaper and Cole plan on attending the University of Wyoming. Volk wants to move to Arizona to study sound engineering, Evans is heading to California to study botany and Case is “going to live life and see where that takes me.”
Wherever they go, they will take fond memories from both on the ice and off.
Favorite moments ranged from locker boxing and playing floor hockey until almost getting kicked out of a hotel to broken bones and game-winning saves. One constant, however, was the sense that they helped build something here in Douglas.
“We definitely started from the bottom, man.” Volk said. “We’ve been fighting the past three-and-a-half years to get to where we are now and we’re finally starting to get where we want to be. It’s definitely taken a lot of dedication and perseverance.”
“I’ll remember the camaraderie for sure,” Kaper continued. “We built a brotherhood. It’s like a family.”
DOUGLAS DROPS TWO
The emotions of senior night were not enough to push the Ice Cats to victory over the weekend, as they lost both matchups with Laramie.
The team lost 8-3 Saturday night, and 7-3 the following morning on Sunday.
Cameron Burkett scored four of the six goals for Douglas, and assisted on another.