It's hard to believe another school year is winding down. Graduations are all around, which means another senior class is about to put on the cap and gown and walk across a stage to receive the diploma they have worked 13 hard years to obtain.
As reporters, it's one of the privileges of our job to interview these fine student athletes during the highlights, and sometimes lowlights, of their high school careers. Some we might interview for many years to come if their talents can take them to the professional level. But for most of them, their playing days will come to an end after the pomp and circumstance have concluded.
When seeing as many games as we do, and typing in as many names as we do, it starts to feel like we know the kids. While they might not accept a friend request from us on Facebook, the 2013 class has given many years - and stories - to remember.
Howland's De'Veon Smith, the 2013 Trumbull County Player of the Year, has been on the football radar since he was in middle school, when even then he was a man amongst boys. This year, he set the new all-time rushing record for the county and was given almost every award possible, including a finalist for Mr. Football. Next year, he will be off to Michigan to begin his collegiate career. As one chapter closes for one of the best running backs to ever come out of the county, a new one is beginning for him in Ann Arbor.
For some athletes, who begin their playing careers as freshman, it feels as if their names have been in the Tribune Chronicle a lot longer than four years. Besides Smith at Howland, it will be odd not to see Brendan Cope or Erika Airhart's names. At John F. Kennedy, it won't feel like football season when the names Dominic Naples, Alec Rossi, or one of our favorite names of all-time, Robert Seger, are no longer Eagles.
There are athletes that have almost become synonymous with their sports over their careers. During basketball season, it will be odd taking down the score of a Champion game and not seeing a double-double for Mackenzie Kiser or 40-some points for Bristol's Chad Oliver. In the spring time, no longer will Mineral Ridge's Dan Ferguson be blasting home runs into Niles or Bailey Shade pitching a perfect game for Newton Falls.
But what will be missed the most from this Class of 2013 is the legendary senior class of Brookfield. Names such as Jeremy Quinlan, Jimmy Quinlan, Collin Harkulich, Ryan Mosora and David Jameison will no longer be written about playing as Brookfield Warriors. Some are moving their careers on to the collegiate level, some are going to fondly remember the days playing in the blue and gold. But that senior class might go down as one of the most prolific and successful senior classes the Tribune has ever covered.
Class of 2013 - the Tribune Chronicle wishes you all the best of luck. Without you, the stories over the last few years just wouldn't have been the same, or as memorable. Now, go out and make new schools proud, so we can keep writing about you.