Background on Informant:
My informant is a current student who has shared with me his experiences of childhood folklore and traditions that he grew up with. In a series of interviews he has shared with me his knowledge.
“So in high school I did a couple of sports, but the one I stuck with was track and field. There’s this tradition every year that at the end of the season, we celebrate this kind of ‘senior night’. Now it wasn’t just the track and field team, it was something that all the sports teams would do for their graduating seniors.
We would have underclassmen make posters and cutouts, while each junior was assigned a senior they would make a speech for.
For me it happened my last home meet, which is the last ‘game’ at the seniors’ home turf. So before the meet began, we would be lined up in a row, usually with our parents, and called one by one for recognition and a picture.
A junior would give a speech to us and then we would receive a small gift, usually a basket of things like candy and snacks. Afterwards our coaches would say a few words, and then the meet would begin.
After the meet ended, we went out to a restaurant to celebrate and it is a bittersweet moment. It’s a simple tradition but I always looked forward to it when I was an underclassmen and I think it’s cool that it’s a small way to send a token of appreciation for the seniors. A kind of final goodbye.”
Having had my own senior night, I understood very well what he was sharing with me. I love how it’s a tradition that has remained the core of high school sports for a very long time. It’s almost an initiation of seniors into the ‘real’ world before they part off and I think it’s a wonderful way to honor their hard work over the past year or years. Although I did not do track and field, I see similarities between my senior night and his and how each sport has developed its’ own culture and way of performing senior night. Overall, I think it’s a very important custom that is practiced in high school sports as a way to say goodbye and appreciate the seniors and the traditions that came before them.