Senior walk ends memorable last night at Yates

photo or infographic by Summer Rains
ONE LAST TIME. Breaking through the tunnel for the last time, senior football players walk side by side, ready for their final game. Although the last game is emotional, many of these players were grateful to be given the opportunity to play with their best friends. "I've been playing football since I was a little kid and the bond I've created with these guys are unexplainable and unique," senior Garrett Collum said. "We faced so much adversity as the years went along, but we stuck through and I couldn't ask for a better group of guys." caption by Ali McNew
Summer Rains
ONE LAST TIME. Breaking through the tunnel for the last time, senior football players walk side by side, ready for their final game. Although the last game is emotional, many of these players were grateful to be given the opportunity to play with their best friends. “I’ve been playing football since I was a little kid and the bond I’ve created with these guys are unexplainable and unique,” senior Garrett Collum said. “We faced so much adversity as the years went along, but we stuck through and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.”
Summer Rains
DANCE PRETTY, SENIORS. The last home game of the football season is known as Senior Night, a night where everyone comes together to celebrate the last time that these hard-working 12th graders will give it their all under the stadium lights. Taking the field for the final time, seniors Hailey Goodson, Cheyenne Mitchell, Owan Alleman and Alexia Murtagh perform an upbeat dance for the cheering crowd. “It’s unbelievable that it is the last time we will be students at Yates Stadium,” senior Sweetheart Captain Owan Alleman said. “It was so great performing knowing that we’ve made the best memories there.”
Summer Rains
ENDING ON A HIGH NOTE. Donning her marching band uniform, senior Julie Seppanen and her parents take in the overwhelming support flowing from the crowd. On senior night, parents get to walk across the field with their children as they announce the great memories and future plans the student has. “”It was sad to think it was my last FNL, but the fact that I was surrounded by people I love made it a happy memory,” Seppanen said. “It’s nice to know I am fortunate enough to have people who support me and love me as I’m moving into my next stage of life.” The band has had a long and successful season which ended with an amazing performance at State UIL and placing 26th out of all the bands in Texas.
Will Nye
THE FINAL CHEER. The last game proved to be bittersweet for all of the seniors on the cheerleading team because of the tight bonds they formed throughout the season. Smiling on the sidelines with her mother and father, senior Jezzet Alcantara prepares to cheer in her last high school football game. “Being able to cheer one more time on the track was very saddening because I could feel senior year was really coming to an end,” Alcantara said. “But, being walked by my precious parents was definitely the highlight of my night.” Although the football season is ending, the team will continue to work hard for the upcoming competition season.

One last night at Yates, one last Whataburger Wildkat first down, one last half-time performance and one last walk across the field. 

Last Friday night was senior night, and the last home game at Breton A. Yates Stadium. It was a night to celebrate the seniors as they walked on the track with their arms linked with their loved ones.  It was a time to acknowledge for their accomplishments and celebrated the plans for their next journey.

The band performed their halftime show for the last time. The practices, the early mornings and the late nights created memories and bonds they will cherish for a lifetime.
“Being a part of the band family means unity, trust and home,” senior Blaine Munguia said. “This organization has really helped me grow into the person I am today. Honestly, I’ve never been closer to more people in my life than the people in band.”

Sweethearts spend a lot of time practicing together as well. The time they spend each week working on new dances helps to build up the excitement for the upcoming half-time show.

“My favorite thing about being a Sweetheart is definitely being out on the field and the adrenaline I get from performing something that we’ve worked so hard on,” senior Jessica Gleason said. “I’m definitely going to miss performing with all of my friends and the fun practices that went into getting ready for a performance.”

The senior walk is a new tradition that lets every senior, involved be involved in Friday night lights one last time as they walk across the football field to close out the season. It gave the seniors five more minutes together.

“The senior walk was really fun, and I think it is a good idea,” senior Akerah Gardin said. “I liked it a lot because I got to experience it with my friends and see some of my old friends as well.”
After spending four years with each other, the football players have become as tight knit as any other group, especially because of the support of the Willis community.

“I like just being able to play with my teammates and making memories,” senior Connor Fisher said. “By playing football together, we’ve become best friends and brothers. It is great that the whole town has our back no matter what.”

As the fall season comes to an end, and the seniors say some of their last goodbyes before they go their separate ways, they celebrate one last time under the Friday night lights of Yates.

“When we play at the games, it’s awesome to hear and see the people of our community in the stand go crazy for us after we’ve performed our eight minute show,” Munguia said. “It was also really cool to have the senior class walk across the field as a group to acknowledge all the hard work that volleyball, cheer, drill team, cross country, the marching band and football have put in during this fall season.”