WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It was six weeks ago today when Rider and Old High met up in a district soccer game that was canceled because of weather, not knowing that would be the last time either team would touch the field this season.
Now, we spotlight the Rider boys soccer team and its 12 seniors, who are one of the largest senior groups in Texoma.
“We had a lot of leaders and having 12 seniors was good because we could kind of mentor the younger guys and give them a good example," Rider soccer senior Colsen Welch said.
“The seniors were sort of in agreement, pulling in the same direction," Rider soccer senior Henry Anderson said. "When you have a lot of guys, a lot of seniors that are like that, the whole thing is able to come together.”
“I think we did better because we were more of a family, more connected," Rider soccer senior Hagan Sanchez said.
Up until last Friday, the Raiders had been holding out hope that they would get to face Old High again and see what they could in the playoffs.
But when news came down that spring sports were canceled, these seniors were crushed.
“I think I speak for a lot of seniors when I say it was kind of heartbreaking," Rider soccer senior Adam Canales said.
“Coach always told us to play like it was our last game and that was my first experience ever having that last game," Welch said.
For Colsen and Hagan, their athletic careers aren’t over as both will be playing college athletics and Hagan says this situation has been a small blessing in disguise.
“The extended summer is a good thing," Sanchez said. "It gives me more time to prepare for soccer in college but also gives me time to rest and be a kid before college starts.”
But for all of them, this extra time off has brought a chance to reflect on their time as a Raider.
“I’ve grown a lot since freshman year," Canales said. "Freshman year I had zero confidence and just reflecting on what I was and what I am now, it’s really special to me.”
“There’s a lot of people here that maybe I won’t get to see again, going forward in life," Anderson said. "But I’ll always get to look back on this time and appreciate the time we did have together.”