Fall Farewells: Senior athletes say goodbye to a final season of fall sports

By: Allie Taiber

Women’s Swimming – Meghan Hackett

Q: How has swimming helped shape your high school experience?

A: “Freshman year I was given the opportunity to look up to people who have experienced things that I had no idea I would experience. More recently, high school swim has given me the chance to help the younger girls go through high school. It’s been a great group of people who I have fun with, but also people who understand each other more than usual because we spend so much time together.”

Q: How will you feel putting on your uniform one last time?

A: “I’ll feel really, really sad. I’m hoping it doesn’t hit me until after I’m done swimming at State, but I doubt that’ll be the case. We’ve put so much time and effort into this season, and it really just boils down into just four races. With it being Marcussen’s last year after 47 years of coaching, we want to make sure our whole team swims well so he can leave feeling happy and complete with his career.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: “I’m going to miss the small, silly and ‘family like’ experiences we share as a team in addition to Marcussen’s funny remarks or just the stuff we do together as a team.”

Q: What are your plans, and how will you use what you’ve learned from swimming in the future?

A; “I do plan on swimming in college, but I’m not sure where yet. High school swim has taught me how to function while being tired — a very useful quality for college, but on a more serious note, I’ve learned the importance of dedication when achieving a goal. Waking up every morning at 5:15 for practice and then going back at night for another takes a lot of will. For future tough times, I’ll remember all the successful swim seasons, and that it wasn’t easy, but it was well worth it in the end.”

monicawesselsWomen’s Cross Country – Monica Wessels

Q:How has cross country helped shape your high school experience?

A: “Cross country and track have made high school so fun. All the friendships I’ve made make the running very worth it. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what it means to have confidence and perseverance.”

Q: How did you feel putting on your uniform one last time?

A: “It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m done yet. My mindset going into the last race was just to run my heart out, giving God all the glory.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I’ll miss the people the most. Nothing bonds people quite like running. There’s just something about working so hard through something together that makes you feel so close to someone.”

Q: What are your plans, and how will you use what you’ve learned from cross country in the future?

A: “Next year I plan on going to Iowa. Depending on how track goes, I might walk on the cross country/track team. I’ve learned that you get out what you put in. I’ve also learned the importance of hard work, but also to have fun. Taking things too seriously and being selfish about things like running isn’t worth your time, being a part of a team is so incredible.”

jakehartmanMen’s Cross Country – Jake Hartman 

Q: How has cross country helped shape your high school experience?

A: “Cross country has been great because it’s where I’ve gotten to know my very closest friends. It keeps me involved and gives me a sense of pride to be wearing red and black and representing both the high school and the city of Cedar Falls. Coach Becker has been a huge influence on me and has helped me build my character even more than my running.”

Q: How will you feel putting on your uniform one last time?

A: “Putting on my jersey and skimps for the last time at State will be tough. Cross country means a lot to me, and I don’t think I’m ready for it to be over, but it’ll also be exciting because I feel like we are ready to run hard and see how we stack up at the state meet.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: “I will definitely miss hanging out with my teammates, whether it’s during practice, after meets or just on the weekends. They are my best friends. I’ll also miss the assistant coach. It’s a bond we really share, and I wouldn’t trade these last four years running under him for anything.”

Q: What are your plans, and how will you use what you’ve learned from cross country in the future?

A: “As of right now I plan on studying elementary education and special education. I might continue running at the collegiate level, but the biggest lesson I can carry over is that if you put all of your passion and heart into something, the possibilities are truly endless.”

Volleyball – Alicia Harrington 

Q: How has volleyball helped shape your high school experience?

A: “Volleyball has given me amazing friends and amazing experiences. You get so close to all of the girls on the team and they become like family. It has made everything so much more enjoyable, including memories I will never forget.”

Q: How will you feel putting on your uniform one last time?

A: “I will feel very sentimental in that moment, thinking of all the great times I’ve had, but I’ll also feel mostly excited for the experiences that are ahead.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: “I will miss my teammates the most and being around such amazing people each and every day.”

Q: What are your plans, and how will you use what you’ve learned from volleyball in the future?

A: “I’m attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City to play volleyball. I will use the experiences with the sport and everyone I encountered to help me in the future.”

seanfernholzMen’s Golf – Sean Fernholz 

Q: How has golf helped shape your high school experience?

A: “It has made me a more sociable person. It’s really helped me to just be myself and steer away from letting others influence me.”

Q: How did you feel putting on your uniform one last time?

A: “It was a happy/sad moment. Happy because I knew that I had a great career with some great people. Sad because I knew it was the last time I would be wearing my uniform to represent my school and myself individually.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: “I will miss the van rides, my coach and most importantly my friends and teammates that I’ve had the opportunity to get really close the past four years.”

Q: What are your plans, and how will you use what you’ve learned from golf in the future?

A: “I’m looking to play golf at the next level in college. I will take away a lot of things that my coach has told me over the last four years. One thing I will really carry with me is something my coach would tell me, that at the end of the day, it’s just golf. You aren’t playing it as a career yet, so there’s no need to be upset if you don’t perform the way you’d hoped, and I think that ties into lots of things with life.”

bryceFootball – Bryce Kolthoff 

Q: How has football helped shape your high school experience?

A: “It really played a huge role in my high school experience by giving me something to work for year round and to look forward to. It has provided me some of my greatest friends and gave us a bond that can’t be found just anywhere.”

Q: How will you feel putting on your uniform one last time?

A: “My father has coached Cedar Falls football all my life. So I grew up in the program. I’ve seen the reactions of kids year after year when their last year comes to an end. With that being said, I still have no idea what to expect. I’m just living in this moment while it’s here. When the end does come, I’m sure it’ll be rough, but I don’t think it’ll hit me at right away.”

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: “The opportunity to spend every day with my brothers doing the sport we love.”

Q: What are your plans, and how will you use what you’ve learned from football in the future?

A: “My father and coach always said football doesn’t build character, but it displays the character of the people who play it. It’s a mean and violent sport, but it has taught me what it means to be a teammate as well as valuable leadership skills that can be applied to any aspect of life.”

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