Senior Night is another rite of passage for student-athletes.
It’s the final time the home crowd will watch the senior class compete, signifying the end of another excellent class to walk through the halls and shine for the Greenwave.
Friday night marks the final time fans will see the senior class on the hardwood as Fallon hosts Dayton at the Elmo Dericco Gymnasium with one week left in the regular season. Six seniors (five girls, one boy) will be honored at each game with the girls tipping off at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:30 p.m.
Caitlyn Welch, Kaitlyn Hunter, Faith Cornmesser, Hannah Evans and Hannah Hitchcock mark the biggest senior class for Anne Smith since 2012 when Fallon also said goodbye to five seniors. This is a special class because of its contributions to establishing the Lady Wave as the flagship of the division.
Welch is second on the team in points per game with 11.2 and leads in steals with 69 total. Without her leadership on the floor and defensive effort in last year’s state tournament, Fallon would not be the same. Cornmesser provides experience in the paint and imagine if she were cleared in time for the Reno loss earlier this year. Fallon would be perfect against the 4A because of what this three-sport athlete brings to the team.
Hunter, Evans and Hitchcock are unsung heroes. They don’t score a bunch of points but their presence on the court provides necessary assurance that the team has strong leadership. Leadership isn’t reflected in the box score as both has shown throughout her career.
Without these five seniors, last year’s state title game against Lowry could have seen a different outcome. Thankfully, though, Fallon was able to win its first sanctioned championship and is in position to repeat both in the regional and state tournaments this month.
With the boys, Fallon loses just one senior but without his energy and ability to pump up the team and crowd, the Greenwave wouldn’t be the same.
Christian Nemeth, who played football and will finish his Greenwave career with the swimming team in the spring, will play his last game in front of the home crowd. Nemeth’s passion for the sport and is teammates could never be question. Fans saw it during the football season anytime Fallon scored, regardless if Nemeth was on the receiving end of a touchdown. He is also one of the many reasons why Chelle Dalager’s team has a strong chance at the No. 2 seed for the postseason.
And while the basketball players will be honored on Senior Night, don’t forget about the wrestling team, pep band and cheerleaders.
Fallon’s grapplers will be competing in the regional tournament this weekend in Spring Creek. Unlike the 4A, the Greenwave does not host dual meets, with the Earl Wilkens tournament serving as the only home match of the year. The wrestling senior class includes Leo and Blane Aicher, Mark Moyle, Marcel Poracky and Mason Smith, who hope to extend their high school career into state next week.
Like any program, it counts on leadership on and off the field of play. The six basketball players being honored on Friday and the five wrestlers competing in Spring Creek have made an impact, regardless of statistics, setting up their teams to be successful for not just this season but for years to come.
Thomas Ranson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org