As Fall Sports Come to an End, Seniors Reflect on Playing Their Last Games


(l to r) Joel Hawthorne surveys the lower field, Maeve Parmelee commemorates her final game as a Pelican, and Peri Zale jumps for a spike in her final season as a Pelican.

Jordan Davis, Staff Reporter, Senior

As we approach the winter months, all of Pelham’s fall sports teams have played their final games. For underclassmen athletes, they always have the next year to look forward to. But for seniors, it is more bittersweet. The last game of the season is more significant for them as it might be the final time they play their sport. In a Q&A session with seniors Joel Hawthorne, Maeve Parmelee, and Peri Zale, who each played different sports, the three of them gave their input on playing their last games and how much the sport meant to them.

Senior Joel Hawthorne, varsity captain for the football team, said, “When I was younger, I played flag football. But in the 8th grade, I had begun to play tackle football. It was through this experience that I decided to play junior varsity and varsity football for Pelham. Looking back on where I started to playing my final game for Pelham, it was filled with a lot of emotions. We lost that night, and it was very tough to bare. It took me an hour and thirty minutes to leave Glover Field, reminiscing on my past experiences playing football. This sport has become my life, and to leave the stage where I was able to give 110%, through the ups and downs, was the hardest thing to do. My teammates, coaches, everyone had become a family through this sport, and I love them all for everything we have gone through together.”

Senior Maeve Parmelee, varsity soccer player and two-time captain of the team, said, “I began playing soccer at the age of 5, and started playing competitively for different clubs from middle school as well as through high school. I joined the varsity soccer team my freshman year, and it immediately felt like a family. Throughout my years on the team, I have made lifelong friends and so many amazing memories that I will cherish forever. Playing, not only my last game for Pelham, but my last game ever, was bittersweet. I was sad that my career had finally come to an end, but at the same time I knew I had been so lucky to be a part of something so special.”

Senior Peri Zale, a varsity volleyball player and captain of the team, also had a lot to say, “I started playing modified volleyball when I was in the 7th grade. After that year, I played on the junior varsity team during my 8th and 9th grade year. I had been moved up to the varsity team in 10th grade, and I played on it until my final game during my senior year. Outside of school, I played on the LHVA club team, run by Mark Finegan, and I have played on 17s travel team for the past three seasons. I have had a passion for the sport since my elementary school days where my friends and I would play with a beach ball, and I felt like I always knew that volleyball was the sport I wanted to play. As for our last game, it was very emotional for me. The team lost 27-25 in our fifth set, and this was really overwhelming because although it was a tough loss, there was always the next year arriving, to get better and expect greater things. But as a senior, it is more emotional for me because this is now my last year playing for the team I have loved since day one. I have developed a deep connection with the programs and the players I have played with for so long, and I am going to miss every experience very much.”

The last game for anyone will always be special. It is never easy moving on from something one has dedicated so much time towards. No matter the sport, no matter the final outcome, it is the memories, relationships formed, and time spent that will never be forgotten.