Although it is heartbreaking I was unable to play softball my senior season for PCS, I have a great deal to be thankful for.
I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunity I had to wear maroon and white and to represent my school. Many people were involved in my sports career throughout the years, and I would like to take to this time to give them the recognition they deserve.
I have learned so much from all of my coaches. They have not only pushed me to become a better athlete, but they also have helped me become a better person. Over the years, the values they have instilled upon us
are ones that will help me in the future, and because of this, I consider each of them part of my family.
My soccer coach, Jesse Archer, is an amazing man who is like a second father to me. He gives me a lot of insight about life and I feel like I can talk to him about anything. He truly cares about us girls and I have respected how he is not afraid to give us constructive criticism and push us to be better players.
My basketball coach is my mom. I have loved having her as a coach even though she is extremely tough on me. She is the person that teaches my teammates and I that being a moral young woman and a solid student is far more important than being successful on the basketball court. We have a strong relationship and it is even more special because of our love of basketball.
Coach Josh Brooks has also made a positive impact on me as a basketball player and person. The insight he has been able to provide has helped me improve my overall game. He was instrumental in boosting my confidence level many times throughout my career as well.
My softball coach, Bill Torrey, is a caring man who always makes me laugh. His upbeat personality is wonderful and it has always motivated me. He is incredibly positive and his energy is inspiring. I am going to miss bantering with him and giving him a hard time.
I cannot talk about athletics at Portville without mentioning our athletic director, Beth Colligan, and our athletic trainer, Matt Gnan. Mrs. Colligan has always supported every sports program. I will miss stopping into her office to visit. As far as Matt, he is the best trainer around. I have been a constant fixture in his room for the past six years and he has always made me feel welcome. I cannot imagine how I would have made it through my career without him to fix every ache and pain -- repeatedly -- so that I could be on the field or court.
Lastly, I would like to thank my teammates throughout the years. The successes I was able to accomplish both individually and as part of a team are due to my wonderful teammates, who are also my friends. These people are a main reason I find sports rewarding. I thank you for the countless memories.
To future Panther athletes, never take for granted how special it is to participate in athletics because as we have learned by recent events, you might not know when it will end. Nothing has made me more proud than to wear a maroon and white jersey. I would give anything to play for PCS one last time. GO PANTHERS!!