In a place where we oftentimes wondered aimlessly in what we believed to be the direction of our dreams, we faced the harsh realization that it was only high school and that there was so much life ahead. As underclassmen, we used to sit and wonder what the rest of our lives would be like after we departed the crowded halls of the safest place we'd ever known. Then, as seniors, we reached graduation day wondering how we would ever live without the friends we had made, and the constant routine we had grown so accustomed to. As we said goodbye, and parted ways with those who had become like family, we worried that those who had once meant so much would become nothing but a memory.
As we all moved on with our new adventures, and distance prevailed, we found ourselves drifting from many, but not from all who had gained a place in our hearts. We now find ourselves thanking those who remain a part of our lives, and realizing that they are the ones that shine most beautifully in the reflection of stories from our past. As time passes, we begin to realize that behind the scenes in life, we formed a bond that we will carry wherever we go.
Although there are many shining stars that have captured a beautiful place in my life's story, I have found one that I owe a great deal of gratitude. Senior year of high school, while life continued to gain an excessive amount of unfamiliar craziness, we were blessed with an individual who often times served as the calm to so many of our storms. No matter what life may have thrown our way at any given moment, she presented herself in a relaxed, collected, and wise manner that helped guide those of us who needed it most.
Those of us lucky enough to have taken part in a high school sport, and even some of those who didn't, began to find that this new presence was overwhelming. Overwhelming in a way that touched our hearts and made us realize that we had found the missing piece to our athletics family puzzle.
To The Piece That Made Us Whole,
I would like to take a moment to thank you for your impeccable timing. Thank you for coming to us when you did, during my farewell season, the season I was dreading with all my heart. Thank you for taking pride in each and every one of us, not only as the athletes that played for you, but also for the people we were without the uniforms, just simply who we were. It is so rare in a world like ours to find a soul who often makes their mark on so many lives, sometimes even unaware that they were doing so. It was your dedication to making us better players, leaders, teammates, friends, and individuals that drew us to your presence each and every day.
You were the first to greet us when we walked in the gym. The first to help us figure out a play while watching practice from the sideline. You were the first to put us in our place when we were in the wrong, but also first to compliment us when we did something right. You ensured us on numerous occasions that it was okay to make a mistake, as long as we keep practicing. When life went array, you were the first to notice that there was something wrong, and the first to share your advice. You were simply the first to always put us first, and that was unforgettable.
Apart from the endless amounts of games, practices and pep talks, you helped guide us in our everyday lives. In search of the perfect college, I had asked you for advice. Only slightly aware that you had come to us from a college in Massachusetts, I began listing the names of the colleges to which I applied. When reaching the name "Nichols College," I watched something light up within you. I watched as you had told me that is where you attended and later coached before taking this current position.
Interested in the stories you had to share, I began picturing myself in a place as amazing as the picture you painted. While sharing your stories, never did it seem as though you were trying to persuade me in any way, which was something I truly valued. From that day forward, everything college-related I had done kept leading me back to Nichols. In my heart there was a growing passion for a place that just continued to seem so fitting for everything I had ever wanted for myself.
After attending a tour here on campus, I finally began to understand. Understand the effect the college has on you at first sight, the way it consumes you without you realizing it. The way the people talk to each other like they're family and the beauty of a small town that reminded me of home. A place that would grow to be the perfect home away from home simply because it gave you no other choice. There was something truly special that I will never forget.
Soon after my visit, and making my final decision, I walked into your office during study hall to tell you the great news. As you got up from your desk and hugged me with a big congratulations, I knew that the next four years of my life would be something I would never forget, and so far, I've enjoyed every single second, so thank you for that.
Now, three years later, in a place that you hold so close to your heart ,I have found a second home, and a family that I will never forget. I have found a job, and teammates that will remain my friends for life. I have found the beauty in the smallest things you could have ever imagined, simply because you helped guide me to a place you knew that would complete my heart; and I could not find enough words to thank you for that if I tried.
I thank you for remaining a constant in my life, and for allowing me to remain a part of yours. Thank you for continuing to check in on me and for encouraging me to follow my dreams, whatever they may be. Thank you for sharing the joy in my happiness and believing that there are greater opportunities in life than I see for myself sometimes. Thank you for having helped guide me in all the right directions without me realizing you were actually doing so. Thank you for all that you have done for me, and for everyone else around us. Thank you for joining our Wolves family and showing us the importance in both the good and bad life throws our way. Thank you for being more than just our athletic director. Simply put, thank you for being you.
One of the Many Lives You've Changed