LEHMAN TWP. – Like just about every other high school program in the Wyoming Valley Conference, the Lake-Lehman girls basketball team honors its senior players at a late-season home game.
The celebration at Lake-Lehman, however, is unlike those others.
The team’s booster club arranges a limousine to pick up each of the seniors and bring them to the school where teammates await with decorations and a dinner at tables in the lobby prior to getting ready for the game.
Before this season’s five seniors had their night Monday for a home game against GAR, they had been through the process of helping honor previous graduating players. Charlie Lavan said the tradition was already in place prior to his eight years as head coach of the team.
“I am very excited,” Kyra Grzymski, one of this season’s seniors, said prior to sitting down for dinner with her teammates.
“It’s tough to say good-bye to the seniors each year, but I think it’s even tougher when you’re a senior saying good-bye to the team.”
Guards Julia Eneboe and Miranda Parry and forwards Molly Storz, Lauren Cunius and Grzymski found themselves in that position Monday.
Although their past experience in the program told them what to expect, they were excited to be the subject of the pregame party.
“We always would stay after school and decorate and make it a special moment for all the seniors each year,” Storz said. “So, it’s pretty special to get that feeling for us.”
The limousine driver began picking up players at their homes before 4 p.m., then took time, taking the long way to get to the school a little over an hour later. The seniors had time together during the ride before joining their teammates for chicken, pasta and vegetables.
“It’s a very nice send-off,” according to Lavan, who said he is too nervous to eat with the team before a game, but any changes in pre-game eating habits have never bothered the players.
The pregame activities help make it a special night, regardless of the outcome.
“I feel like everybody always has more positive energy, like ‘I want to win for the seniors,’” Parry said of the Senior Night games. “It’s all a team effort. We’d all try to make it the best night for the seniors and hopefully that’s how it is tonight.”
The game did not work out this time for Lake-Lehman, which lost to GAR, 54-35.
Cunius and Grzymski got to join the other three in the starting lineup for the first time.
“They’re very dedicated kids,” Lavan said.
Before taking the court, Cunius remembered crying after last year’s emotional game for the previous senior class.
“It’s just special because you want to do well for the team, put on a good show and make it a good night for the team,” she said.
Eneboe, a three-year starter at point guard, led the senior group with 10 points Monday. Parry and Storz had three each and Gryzmski contributed two.
What Eneboe will remember most about the Senior Nights in her career, however, are the extra support and the special feelings the night brings out.
“It’s always great to come out and have the team behind you,” she said. “Everybody’s cheering. Everybody wants the team to do well and have a good send-off.
“It’s very emotional. It’s something that I never thought would come.”
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