By Daeana Barkubein
Senior Night came early this school year as the Golden Eagles Varsity Football team played their last home game for the year against the Silverdale Seahawks this past Friday, October 11. Though Grace lost by a margin of 13 to 36, the recognition of senior athletes from the Football, Cross Country, and Cheer teams and the Grace community’s solidarity made the night memorable.
The recognition of athletes began at 7:00 pm. Not only valuable members of the team, but also role models to their younger peers, the recognized Seniors were the following: Justin Carter, Austin Starr, Will Lehman, Tillman Smith, Samuel Griffey, and Jackson Smith for the Football team; Kaylea Arter, Ella Dolan, Katie Anne Henry, Maiya Banks, and Madison McDaniels from the Cheer team; and Ben Burroughs from the Cross Country team.
The game commenced after the Seniors had been recognized, and the defining moment came during the third quarter when Junior Cooper Knecht, the team’s quarterback was injured in a tackle. Students, faculty, and parents from Grace and Silverdale alike immediately stood and began to pray for Cooper as trainer Randy Wilkes attended to him while awaiting the arrival of the paramedics.
“It was a confirmation that we made the right decision to invest our family at Grace for these 19 years,” Mr. Terry Knecht, Cooper’s father, later said to Headmaster Matt Pollock. Indeed, the unity not only of the Golden Eagles, but also of the Christian community is unparalleled.
Two others injured were Seniors Austin Starr who suffered from a concussion, and Will Lehman whose ankle was injured, both during the fourth quarter. Despite these complications, the players gave their best as they were encouraged by everyone supporting them.
“The support from everyone is overwhelming. All of the students, teachers, and players families continue to believe in our team despite what’s happening throughout the season. I couldn’t ask for a better environment to be around,” said Lehman.
Athletics at Grace truly is not only about the games, but also the sense of solidarity and encouragement that each member of the community shows to one another. In the face of challenges, it is this unity that allows the Golden Eagles to soar high.