May 3, 2012
First and foremost I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation for everyone in the room. Pam, Dan, Alexis, Dr. Rissmeyer thank you for all the work you do behind the scenes. Ron, Ellie and Katie thank you for dealing with all of our aches and pains. To all the coaches in the room, thank you for your dedication. Especially to Wayne Currie, Keith Rogers, Amanda Laws and Liz Goddard. You have made my experience here very special. To all the parents' thank you for your continuous support, without your dedication we wouldn't be where we are today. Especially to my family, thank you so much for always being there. Dad, I really appreciate you making the three and a half hour drive. I know how much you love getting home at 1am on a weeknight. Mom I know you're really going to miss Dad's books on tape on the long rides. And finally, thank you to all the athletes in the room for your ongoing commitment to the program.
When Pam approached me a few weeks ago and invited me to speak tonight I was first taken aback. Why would you want me to be the senior speaker? What do I have to say that's so important? After a few moments I thought, `why not.' A few days went by without any ideas before I realized how lucky I have been to have such a unique experience here at Emmanuel. Not only did I have the privilege of playing 4 years of soccer, but I was able to be a captain on Emmanuel's first ever lacrosse team. So after reflecting on my four years, I guess I've seen quite a bit. I've seen the soccer team transform from a mere 17 girls to an overwhelming 33. We went from preseason practices at the airport and on the dirt and rocks of the Fens to home games on Roberto Clemente, the most beautiful field of any school in our conference. The athletic department has grown into a strong group of 17 teams, with the newest additions of men and women's lacrosse. Just last year this same banquet was held in the café, and look at the amount of people here tonight.
Let's all remember the reason why we are sitting here; we love the game. The reason we are here transcends the desire to play at a higher level. Don't get me wrong, the sound of playing professional sports sounds great, but that's not why we chose Emmanuel. We chose Emmanuel because along with competing at the next level we have the advantage of small class sizes and the ability to take advantage of all Boston has to offer. We love the game for the joy of accomplishing something great, like our women's basketball team reaching the national quarterfinals this season. We love the game for the challenge of working harder than we have ever thought possible. Most people would think we are crazy for those 6am work outs or running sprints during activities period, but we all know those are the times that separate good from great. We love the game because it has always been a part of us and we can't imagine our lives without it. Personally, I can't imagine my life without soccer and lacrosse; I never would have made it through these four years. We love the game for everything it teaches us along the way. Do you think you would be the same person you are today without the game?
We Love the game because it takes all team members to give it life. It isn't about who scores the most goals, runs the fastest, gets the most rebounds or picks up the most ground balls. A famous athlete once said: Even when you've played the game of your life, it's the feeling of teamwork that you'll remember. You'll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you'll never forget your teammates. Of course there will always be those heartbreaking losses and underdog wins that will stick with us forever, but the bonds we form will be some of the greatest relationships in our lives. My best friends at Emmanuel are sitting in this room tonight, and I'm sure yours are too. My teammates are my family and I wouldn't have made it through these four years without them. Ten years from now no one will remember that shot you missed, the pass you dropped, or that strike out in the bottom of the ninth, but everyone will remember the impressions you have made, the relationships that you built, and those great moments that come along with the game.
I will never forget my first day at Emmanuel. My parents helped me unload everything into my room. We had our first team barbecue. I knew no one. It was basically me, my family and many faces I had never seen before. But what I quickly realized within the next few days was this was my new family and I will never forget my first team. I will never forget our bus trip back from east Boston one day getting stuck in a tunnel. I will never forget the first draw I took for our first Lacrosse game ever. Where else could I have played two sports, worked at a nationally ranked research facility while still putting school first? So, when I am asked, "If you could go back four years would you still come to Emmanuel?" The answer would be yes without a question.
Seniors, how surreal is tonight? Think back on your four years and be grateful to have been part of such an amazing program. Don't be sad because it's ending, appreciate that you had this opportunity in the first place. Make the extra effort to stay in touch with your teammates; no matter where you go you will always share this experience. Take all that you have learned from the game and apply it to your future.
Underclassmen, never take this gift for granted. There are so many athletes who wish they could be in our position, athletes who aren't lucky enough to call themselves Saints. Appreciate every practice, game and workout...senior day comes a lot sooner than you think.
Love the game so much that you will pass this on to another Saint who has seen your dedication, your work, your challenges, your triumphs... and then that saint will, because of you, love the game too.