Bittersweet Goodbyes


Michela Collins

The varsity girls basketball team huddles together for a discussion.

Covid-19 has taken a lot of things from us this past year, especially concerning our sports. The Ross girls basketball team has not let these changes dampen their spirits. Even as the seniors bid their last farewell to their teammates, they continue to share their moments of triumph and words of inspiration. 

Seniors Michela Collins and Grace Stenger both agreed that one of their favorite memories was when Stenger was challenged to a half-court shooting contest against their coach Benjamin Buehner. After battling back and forth, Stenger eventually claimed her victory against Coach Buehner and got the team out of lifting after their practice. The feeling was electric, hearing the girls screaming and cheering, then the release of the pressure when Stenger finally won. It was a moment no one was ever going to forget. 

Upon being asked what he will miss most about this group of seniors, Coach Buehner replied, “ The level of commitment they have shown in such a difficult year, it has kept me going.” 

Similarly, Stenger shared just a few of the setbacks the team came in contact with throughout this season. 

“We have faced week-long shutdowns, quarantines of multiple players, playing with a limited number of people, no offseason, etc.  We have so many excuses to quit, but we still keep playing every week and give 100% at games and practices and I am really proud of our team for that,” stated Stenger. 

Throughout the many hardships of not just this year but in years previous, Collins says the biggest lesson that she has learned is, “I have to work towards a goal to get where I want.” 

Stenger also states, “It has also made me a more responsible person by having to show up every day and having others count on you.” 

Although these girls had every excuse to give up, they kept pushing and didn’t let off the gas. 

Coach Buehner shared his gratitude for the girls as well, “they took the lessons from last year and built on them and made it more of a priority this year.”

As the season comes to a close, Collins and Stenger gave their final words of encouragement and inspiration. 

Collins stated, “I will miss them all when I graduate and hope that they continue to improve the basketball program.”

In addition, Stenger said, “Enjoy every moment you have.  You never know what will happen especially in times like this so take advantage of every opportunity you’re given.”

Goodbyes are usually seen as saddening and somber, but that’s only if you allow them to be. The Ross basketball program will forever be honored to have these seniors. We wish them the best of luck on their journey from here.