If I were to throw out "The Last Waltz", there is little doubt none of you would know what I was talking about. A concert held 45 years ago, and meaningful to me, has no relevance whatsoever to your lives. On the other hand, "The Last Dance", a recently aired Netflix series about Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, may bridge the gap a bit. But one thing that touches us all is "The Last Practice."
When we got together in June, nearly six months ago, for strength and conditioning sessions, and throughout the summer each Tuesday and Thursday evening, our season effectively got under way. I was optimistic when many of our athletes requested and faithfully followed our summer training plans. I was buoyed by a good representation from our Freshman class when formal practices began. And throughout the season I was impressed with the dedication of all of you, and even more so by your improvement. We all anticipated a season like no other with the pandemic hanging over our heads and the modifications necessitated by that. But our teams followed rules and met expectations, just as they had the training plans, and what followed was a remarkably successful season for all of our athletes and coaches. Was it perfect? The Boys' record aside, no. But we had 62 terrific kids on our teams, who challenged themselves each and every day, and I believe were almost all pleased with the outcome. If not, each and every one of you should be.
At the beginning of any season a coach evaluates the talent on the team. We knew we had some very good runners. But what we really hope to see over the course of the season is improvement among ALL our athletes. And this year EVERY athlete improved his/her performance. As a team, we were nearly injury free, with only 4 individual meets missed due to injury, out of a possibility of 310 (5 dual meets. 62 athletes.) Attendance at practice was far better than in the past, in spite of the logistics problems created by remote learning. From a coaching standpoint you can't ask for more luck, effort and improvement than what you gave us this season. For that reason, and countless others, it why I hate to see the season end. I hate to hold "The Last Practice."
Beyond today, I'm not certain what lies ahead. When I know, you'll know. But I will always look back on this season as one of my most enjoyable. You are a marvelous group of kids, with incredible futures ahead of you. A simple "thank you" doesn't seem enough, but it is all I can offer for the opportunity and privilege of working with you.
Last time . . . see you at 2:30, and