By James Kay
Usually at this point in the school year, senioritis has hit students primed for graduation, prom and the IHSA postseason tournaments. For senior athletes, spring is a time for preparing for farewell banquets and squeezing the most out of their last times on the fields where they rose to varsity prominence.
With the IHSA suspending spring sports this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Riverside-Brookfield High School's athletic department decided to make the most out of an unfortunate situation by honoring senior athletes who won't get a chance to play out their final seasons.
Spring Season Senior Athlete Recognition will be held on May 15 and 16 to honor all the senior athletes at RBHS who won't get to suit up in blue and white this spring.
"Until recently, spring teams were still having Zoom meetings and working out individually with the hope that they may have had the opportunity to compete in their chosen sport," said Athletic Director Brendan Curtin in an email to the Landmark.
"Our senior spring student athletes never wavered in their commitment to our athletic programs. By dedicating May 15 and 16 as spring season senior recognition days, we honor our seniors, whose high school athletic careers were cut short. We value our student athletes and their numerous contributions to RB athletics. It's really inspirational & why they are recognized as 'The Spirit of RB!'"
According to the school's annoucement, RBHS is going to hang a picture banner for each of the senior athletes on the east side of the stadium at the Kennelly Athletic Complex throughout this upcoming weekend.
On May 15, boys track, volleyball, lacrosse, badminton, baseball and girls soccer will have their banners displayed. On May 16, boys tennis, girls track, girls lacrosse, boys and girls water polo and softball will have their banners up.
On each day, senior members of those teams will go to the school based on the 30-minute periods they have been assigned. The reason the two groups are split up and have designated time slots is due to social distancing protocols per CDC guidelines.
As athletes drive-thru on May 15 and 16, they will receive individual awards, including recognition certificates for all-conference and academic all-conference honors, letters and pins, which will be placed in the trunk of the athlete's car.
Senior athletes will also pick up a "special keepsake" that the athletic department has created for the Class of 2020 to "signify the challenges the student-athletes have endured these past several weeks."
The keepsake is a "challenge" coin that features the school's bulldog logo on one side, with "Class of 2020" across the top and "spring season athlete" on the bottom. On the other side, the bulldog "paw" is the main symbol with "the spirit of RB" at the top and "Bulldog family" at the bottom.
After the two-day event is over, the athletes will be able to take home their banners when they pick up their graduation gowns the following week.
Make sure to check out the May 20 edition of The Landmark for a recap.