Senior recognition night for Lady Bulldogs
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — It was a bittersweet moment for the Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West.
For the players, it was their last hurrah on the home court, and for their parents it was a time to watch them move on in life to the next challenge once this season of girls’ varsity hoops draws to a close.
Dr. Nancy Hackett, superintendent of schools at Sullivan West, said of the importance of senior recognition night, “This is exciting for the girls… they have been battling all year, and it’s a really great group… they work well as a team.
“What’s fun about senior recognition night is that it’s bittersweet. My seniors are growing up, and the parents watching are probably wondering what’s the next step in the future,” added Hackett.
Before the warm-ups of the game against the Lady Raiders of James I. O’Neill High School on Thursday, February 14, game announcer Catherine Dickey set the tone of the evening by reading words penned by coach Pat Donovan.
“Tonight we honor those seniors playing in their final home game… these young ladies have given a great deal of time, effort and commitment to the Sullivan West girls’ basketball program over the last six years.
“They have represented their school, community and families with the upmost dignity and respect and maintained the positive reputation of Sullivan West girls’ basketball.
“Throughout their tenure, they have been instrumental in showing the younger players on the team what it means to be a Sullivan West girls’ basketball player… their leadership and loyalty will be sincerely missed.”
Fine words of heartfelt recognition, and then it was almost game time.
Before the tipoff, the trio of starting seniors (McKinley Bernitt, Leizel Schlott and Kelsey Farrell) were joined at center court by their parents for the exchange of a few joyful hugs and bouquets of vibrant flowers.
After the game, the senior hoopsters lined up for yet another rite of passage: a few words to the Fourth Estate.
McKinley Bernitt, a forward, has been playing the game of hoops for six years.
“I just love it so much, it’s a lot of fun, and I’m going to miss it when it’s over.”
Leizel Schlott plays “everywhere they need me,” and after five years at Sullivan West, said of the game, ”I love basketball, it’s a really fun sport, really energetic.”
Asked what she’s learned about the game, Schlott replied, “Teamwork, communication, and trusting my teammates.
Kelsey Farrell, a guard, said in response to the query “what do you like about basketball?”, “The teamwork, the team environment, the hard work we put in every day.”