Senior Reflection: A wild ride with the class of 2020

Derek Blanchard, Staff Writer

After an eventful three years topped off with a far from normal senior year, I can say with confidence that the class of 2020 left their dynamic mark on the Algonquin community. 

My first thought of Algonquin was that it’s the same as middle school, just with a heck of a lot more homework and a lot more people. About five months into high school, I had a reality check when basically nothing was going well. I’d consider my freshman year of athletics as a train wreck since I was a benchwarmer for the freshman football team, cut from the basketball team and broke my hand less than a month after I started my first ever lacrosse season. I had realized just how much of a pain high school can be at times, so I hit the books and the weights harder than ever before. 

Sophomore year was filled with many memories and challenges. Many say it’s the worst of the four years you spend in high school. That’s a statement I’d agree with now that I’m reflecting on it because you’re just expected to do things you aren’t comfortable with. 

One of my favorite memories from this year was when I got off the bus for my junior varsity lacrosse game. My coach came running over to the bus and told me to suit up for varsity since injuries left them short handed. I sometimes laugh at the fact that my introduction to the varsity level of athletics would involve me getting thrown into the fire. Although we ended up losing, I’ll never forget the look of disbelief on all of the varsity players when they realized I was going in. I handled myself well and played way more than I thought I’d end up doing, which is why you have to be ready when called upon even in your second career season of lacrosse. 

Junior year was when I started training like a legitimate athlete and when I had some of the highest grades of my four years. High school became my lifestyle since I embraced the fact that I was at school from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day in the fall and spring. I finally started to see the results of my hard work from brutal summer workouts and studied way more than before too. 

My favorite part about T-hawk Nation is how resilient we were. When we were told that no football games would start later than 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturdays, we played as hard as we could and then would hang out with friends after so we wouldn’t let our Saturday nights go wasted because of mosquitos. I only enjoyed this change more when the team started to show how dominant we could be after a 41-0 victory for Homecoming, by far one of my favorite games in a maroon and gold jersey. Us seniors are always looking for a good time, even if it was twenty minutes after I got home from a game. 

To all of the underclassmen or future T-Hawks, I offer this one piece of advice: If you are an athlete, stage performer or even just a regular student, embrace who you are and what you do. Give that thing that you’re passionate about everything you’ve got because as many senior athletes like myself can say, you’ll never see the end coming.