Eight seniors were honored on Feb. 17 when the men and women’s basketball teams had their final home games. The gymnasium was filled with family, friends and fellow students and decorated with posters, streamers and balloons that were provided by the Blackburn Cheerleaders and their coaches, Connie Morin and Jane Kelsey.
Danae Smith was the only senior for women’s basketball and played hard with her teammates, but the team suffered a loss against the Eureka Red Devils. Smith had no comment. All basketball seniors were given a framed poster of themselves.
The men’s team seniors were Henry Hicks, Colin Gowin and Jamie Moore. All 3 men got play time in their last home game but were defeated in a neck and neck game against the Devils. Gowin stated that senior night was a very bitter-sweet night for him. Seeing such a great turnout in the student section was a highlight but playing his last home game was heavy on his mind. Gowin went on to say how he’s had quite the experience with basketball at Blackburn from playing with his brother, being grateful to play at all and a rough patch with a previous coach. “This year has been great. We are winning games and winning is fun. I believe Blackburn was blessed to get Coach Kollar and Coach Jadzak. They are a perfect fit for our school and care about the player’s success on and off the court.” Gowin loves his sport and competing in general. “I love outworking other players whether it’s to help my team win or to push my teammates at practice, I’m balls to the wall the entire time,” said Gowin.
The cheerleaders that were honored where Miranda Critchfield, Edia Mushundusi, Shandra Pearson and DeArryka Williams. Cheerleading is not considered a sport at Blackburn, but the women were honored by their coaches along with the student athletes. Mushundusi stated that she enjoyed her time as a cheerleader at Blackburn. “We practice a lot for only being a club and we worked very hard for senior night. I was really disappointed when the music for our dance didn’t work because we weren’t allowed a sound check, but I enjoyed my experience on the team and coaches throughout my 4 years.” The cheerleader’s music didn’t work for their senior dance and had to improvise with an athletics laptop and an AV cord. The music came out unclear and inaudible but were still able to perform their dance.
This was also Director of Financial Aid Jane Kelsey’s last game as a cheer coach. Kelsey had been the advisor for cheerleading for many years and coached with friend, dance instructor and owner of Fancy Feet Studios, Connie Morin. Morin honored Kelsey with a bouquet of flowers while both shed a couple of tears. They honored their seniors with handmade red and black blankets with an embroidered “BC.”
*The author is a Blackburn Cheerleader.