LIBERAL, Mo. — Every athlete looks forward to senior night. One final chance to have your team’s name across your chest. Never imagining that it could all be ripped away.
“It’s very disappointing,” Diamond senior McKaley Greninger said. “Because that’s the last time I’m playing with the girls I’ve played with since freshman year, sophomore year. Just getting to like play with them on last time on the field.”
Which is why the Diamond and Liberal softball teams, competitors on the field, came together to give each of their team’s seniors the senior night that they lost during the school year.
“With the two of us (Liberal and Diamond) we’ve had some pretty memorable senior nights I guess the last few years,” Liberal head softball coach Brandi Goodell said. “So it’s just a good night to get together and honor our seniors and get the chance to bring them on the field one last time and like she (Diamond head coach Kelsey Parrish) was gracious enough to let us host. They might have one more game at their place still. But we’re going to honor theirs and ours tonight that way we can get them all in.”
“We’ve really tried to create a bond between us,” Diamond head coach Kelsey Parrish added. “Of course we’re rivals on the field, but then off the field we’re trying to make friends and show the girls you can lift each other up and be there for each other and still compete.”
It can’t replace a lost season, a traditional senior night. There might be a little rust. But for the Bulldogs and Wildcats, it’s just good to play.
“It’s great,” Liberal senior Taylor Ray said. “I totally had it out of sight, out of mind. But the fact that our coaches were were able to come together and give us a senior night is really special.”
Because when it comes to senior night, it’s better late than never.
Diamond would go on to win a close, high scoring game, picking up the 13-12 win.