Perhaps Paris softball coach Donald Hart said it best when he described the unusually scheduled Senior Night ceremony that was not held on the field during a pregame ceremony but on a rainy night in Paris Gymnasium after the conclusion of the Lady Eagles’ season. Coach Hart referred to the ceremony being indicative of the obstacles that this senior class has had to overcome, such as scheduling challenges that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. But nevertheless, five Paris seniors who had a very successful run in the program were honored in front of parents and fans Monday at Paris Gymnasium.
Seniors Ryleigh Oates, Karsyn Tencleve, Celsi Haller, Kasse Appleton, and Kaidence Powers were honored for their contributions to the Paris softball program. In a very touching ceremony, the players were escorted by their families through a “bat salute” that was formed from the rest of the team, and were given gifts and momentos of their time in the program. Coach Donald Hart said a few words about the seniors and how much they meant to him and the program.
After the event, I asked Coach Hart for his comments regarding this class that was very successful on and off the field, including a run last year to the state semi-finals. Coach responded by saying, “I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to be a small part of this great group of seniors. They’ve had a tremendously positive impact on our program over the past four years (five for the three that were managers as eighth graders.) I look forward to seeing them do great things as they head out into the real world, and I hope we will always hold a special place in their hearts. I know they will in mine. It’s been a great ride and they will be truly missed. Once and Eagle…always an Eagle!”
Yes, Coach, they will be sorely missed by everyone, and they will be highly successful in anything they attempt in life. Good luck to this year’s senior class of Paris softball players, and we look forward to following your future successes in life!