Senior night: a chapter ends, another opens

Wakefield’s Varsity Men’s Soccer reflects on their time with the team


Staff Photo by Maxwell Bryn

Harry Wathington and Omar Abouseido rush toward ball down the field.

A substantial amount of angst encompasses the Wolverine stadium, steadily grasping the attention of restless parents, which transpires into a spirited night within the frigid bleachers. As tension further increases upon the arrival of any game, for Wakefield’s Varsity Men’s Soccer team, Senior Night bears either triumph or a trip back to square one.

On October 18, Knightdale conquered the field with immense agility and endurance, leading them to surpass Wakefield with an 0 – 3 lead, distinctly characterizing the first half with low-spirits and fortitude. Transitioning into a nostalgic halftime moment, which encompassed a remembrance of senior accomplishments and the next chapter each athlete would indulge in, proved to be both joyous and doleful. Graduating players include Andres Aguilar, Omar Abouseido, Ian McDonald, Connor Hoke, Andrew Higgins, Isaac Castelloes, Kaden Holcomb, and Matthew Errington.

Senior Night, for Wakefield athletic teams, concerns challenging farewells and an awareness that this is the finale of their high school athletic careers. Players can attest that this specific night exceeds all others as it adjourns a chapter in their lives, yet extends numerous avenues to better things. For Errington, Senior Night was not only a stepping stone but a time to remember.

Photo Courtesy of Merith Alexander
Seniors on the soccer team proudly stand with their parents for senior night.

“It was probably the most important game of the season considering, if we won, we would become second in the conference and automatically qualify for playoffs,” Errington said. “It was Senior Night, so it was the last time I got to play at Wolverine Stadium.”

The realization that nine seniors would be leaving Wakefield forever, bestowed the team with a unified certainty in their abilities to overcome a considerable Knightdale lead.

Three exhilarating goals by junior Harry Wathington and seniors Hoke, and then Errington affirmed a tied game in the second half and two, 10 minute overtimes, which left the team to combat a persistent Knightdale. Ultimately, ensuring their place in the NAC VI Conference Soccer Tournament. Just within the first 10 minutes, Hoke scored — contributing two goals of the night — and advanced Wakefield to a 4-3 lead.

As parents ignited the bleachers with enthusiasm, an essence of impatience circulated in the Wolverines’ stadium and eyes hastily caught every footstep, kick, and referee call. Exceptional goalie and defense performance inhibited Knightdale from scoring another goal, making Wakefield a bona fide winner; for their determination overcame ego.

“During that game, sometimes the team would take a little while to come together and start playing like they wanted to win,” parent Heather McDonald said. “Usually I am anticipating that momentum switch, where they are going to go after it and win. It would be disappointing to lose on Senior Night.”

Commentating on the gradual urgency of the team that night, McDonald showcases that being a ‘soccer mom’ entitles her to affirm her own opinions and assumptions.

The title ‘Senior’ entails future possibilities and unsettled, mixed emotions. These mixed emotions are what impels Hoke to claim their last time setting out on the field with an unsure outlook.

“It’s a bit of emotion — sadness and excitement,” ”

— Hoke

Hoke said. [I’m] glad it’s coming to an end. I plan on winning a ring though.”

A ring that would be unforeseeable as Wakefield lost their playoff game against Leesville Road by a score of 1-0. Terminating their chances of advancing in the NAC VI Conference Soccer Tournament.

Seniors remain positive though, as their departure could impact the team immensely in the upcoming year. With an indecisive future and confident perspectives on the status of their team next season, McDonald anticipates that the soccer team will remain exceptional.

“There is definitely some good talent on the team for next year and there are plenty of players on the team this year that will be there next year,” outside back Ian McDonald said. “I think they have a good future and I know that the coaching is going to be good. I feel like we have left a good platform for them to build on next year.”

Being one of the team captain’s, McDonald advocates for honorable representation of the team, on and off the field, and hopes his teammates can work cohesively — without distractions.

“Just make sure to work as a team and to not get caught up in too many things outside of the soccer field,” Ian McDonald said. “Come together as one group, instead of being separated by stupid things.”

Senior Night symbolizes the greatest part of any chapter — new beginnings.  As the season reaches an end, Wakefield’s Varsity Men’s Soccer team is sure to become a team of change, but still a resilient one at that.