May 1, 2008
Stephanie Rege wrapped up the 2007-08 Athletic Awards Night by serving as the senior speaker. Her inspiring words are as follows:
I am very honored to be granted this opportunity to speak before you tonight. I thought long and hard before deciding what I wanted to speak about and I have decided that my words will be best received if they can be related to by everyone in this room. As it happens to be, my collegiate athletic experience is extremely different than the majority of you here tonight which is why I will only touch briefly upon my past 4 years.
Throughout my 4 collegiate seasons, I have played for 3 different coaches and struggled to wake up and drag myself to class in the morning after 9-11pm practices the night before. I am grateful that Coley Ferraro and Jen Walsh were right beside me throughout this interesting ride. Together, we were able to overcome the challenges that occur when new coaching styles, attitudes and personalities come together year after year. Despite our record, I believe that I speak for the three of us when I say this past season was by far the best in terms of cohesiveness, positive attitudes, and an amazing learning environment. Our new coach, Michelle Morales, has taught me more in one year than I have learned in the past 3. With her knowledge of the game and extremely sarcastic sense of humor, she was able to transform our losses into positive learning experiences. I want to publically thank her for all that she has done for me personally and for the Emmanuel College softball program.
With that said, I based the remainder of my speech on John Wooden's philosophy about success because, I truly believe that Emmanuel College Athletics is a perfect representation of all that he believed in and taught throughout his years as a coach and a mentor. He instilled in his players the notion that, "success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable." That is what Emmanuel College Athletics is all about, preparing as best you can, challenging yourself to the fullest, and giving 110% effort at all times.
As graduation is approaching for many of us, we won't hold onto the winning seasons but, we will always remember the individual triumphs and the great moments that we shared that could only have been experienced by fellow student athletes. And, please don't get me wrong, winning is an amazing experience especially when my NY Giants beat the Pats in the Super Bowl but, there were numerous great plays made and new records set this year by Emmanuel Athletes that should be celebrated louder and with more pride than a winning season.
Senior Caitlin Eagan scored her first goal of the season in the GNAC final. The era of the "Tallies" is concluding with the graduation of Erica Wenz, Maura Mooney and Sara Long. Almost unbelievably, 5 student-athletes score their 1,000th point this season, Jade Paez, Brittany Bushman, Mack Spellman, Rob Williams-Hinton and Levi Smith. Erica Wenz stepped up to the plate when we were short players to travel to St. Joe's Connecticut and smashed a triple down the line after not playing since high school. Matt Hickey holds the record in the 800 for men's track and Kelsey Fitzpatrick, Katie Beaton, Ashley Adamson and Alison Lynch set the new school record in the 4 by 1. And of course, how could I forget the implementation of Body by Ron which is best and most effectively demonstrated by having Howie Harrison stand and point us all in the direction of the gym. Thank you for the gun show.
For my closing remarks, I would like to start with a few words to my fellow graduating seniors. I hope that regardless of winning or losing records you all take with you the life experiences that we have gained by being student-athletes at Emmanuel College. Sharing a similar passion for sport and spending endless bus rides together on the lovely Crystal Transport has turned teammates into therapists, roommates and most importantly, life long friends. I hope that the bonds that you have made and that the life lessons that you have learned on and off the field, court or track last you your whole life through.
As for the underclassman, I wish you the courage to let down your guard and barriers and to take chances. As John Wooden said, "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." Push yourself to the max and never hold back. When people tell you these four years fly by... they are not joking!
Once again, I would like to thank the Athletic Department and my fellow student-athletes for this honor. I also wanted to thank Howie Harrison and Katie Foley for sticking with us during the past 4 years. And, I am overly grateful to my parents for making it to nearly every game, both home and away, for four years. Thank you, I love you.
Now, I will leave you with words that the man, the legend, Howie Harrison inspired us with before every game... "It's a great day to be a Saint!" Thank you and good luck!