For the nearly 400 senior spring sport athletes across the Noble Network Charter Schools 17 campuses, the unceremonious end to their high school athletic careers meant a lack of closure.
“Initially when things started happening, I was pretty devastated,” said Xavier Mercado, a track and field athlete at Speer Academy. “I had such high expectations to help my team go to State. It would’ve been the fourth year in row of winning the Noble League Championship which was really important to me.”
Although their spring seasons were nothing like they had imagined, the athletes’ overall accomplishments would not go unnoticed. Noble League athletics organized virtual spring senior days to salute their students, creating personalized graphics and video messages from coaches.
“I was surprised because I didn’t think I was going to have senior night at all,” said Soleil Jacinto, a softball player at Muchin College Prep. “To be recognized to the whole Noble League community was special, because it made me feel we were all in this together.”
“When the coronavirus first started, I thought ‘oh wow, my season is over,’ and I wouldn’t get recognized for my sport,” said Davione Young, who played rugby, football and wrestled for Johnson College Prep. “I stayed positive because I knew Noble would do something about it. Seeing my face for track and rugby made me feel happy.”
Instead of dwelling on lost seasons, the senior days focused on what could never be taken away—the memories and relationships forged over the years.
“Senior night really showed coaches and family members to come together to see things you’ve done and other Noble schools to see this was a great athlete and they deserve this recognition,” said Jasmine Davis, a track and field athlete for Chicago Bulls College Prep.
“Just actually reading (the senior day post), having my own individualized post was special,” Mercado said. “I took it to heart and emailed my coach right after thanking him so much for the words because I found it so inspirational to my future.”