Swim senior night honors seniors, exchange students

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Cameron Clark

With family members supporting them, Alex Mosaffa, Jake Tran, Eric Dao, and Dylan Stonebraker, seniors, show off their gifts given to them in honor of their dedication to their sport.

Cameron Clark, Staff Reporter

Before a night of a vigorous swim competition, a celebration of the school’s swim team’s seniors. In addition, the night recognized the team’s exchange students, as it is their last year. The event took place on January 9, honoring their dedication to the sport.

The seniors included but were not limited to: Carmen Brunskill, Stephanie Flores, Katie Knight, Eric Dao, Alex Mosaffa, Jacob Tran, Dylan Stonebraker, and Zayne Janoschak. In addition to the seniors, the ceremony also honored two foreign exchange students; Alfredo Gonzales from Spain, and Ricardo Collietti from Rome.

Cameron Clark
With sentiment and nostalgia clouding the natatorium, Katherine Knight, senior, embraces her coach for one of the last times of her high school swim career. “Coach Webb was very encouraging and motivational to me,” Knight said. “He encouraged me to push harder to try new things.”

Knight, senior, experienced the emotions at the ceremony.

“I was really excited at first, but then got increasingly nervous as I realized I was one step closer to graduation,” Knight said.

Knight also had a longer legacy in swim than most people her age.

“I have been swimming for 13 years and playing water polo for 7 years,” She said. “I continued to swim because I enjoy the team aspect. I will not continue swimming in the future but I will play water polo in college.”

Knight has also learned valuable lessons from her sport.

“I learned that I will always have people to support me in my decisions,” Knight said. “By sacrificing a small part of my social life I was able to connect on a deeper level with my team. [Advice I can give to underclassmen is to] do the work yourself, because no one else can do it for you.”

Cameron Clark
Holding a bouquet of multicolored flowers, Zayne Janoschack, senior, stands by his mother and father, and grips his embroidered towel and multi-colored bouquet that was presented to him.

Spanish foreign exchange student Gonzales, sophomore, is grateful for his newfound sense of community within his swim team.

“Senior night was an emotional day. Even though I was tired after swimming, it was overwhelming to see how everyone was supporting and appreciating me,” he said. “I really enjoyed swimming, not only because of the sport itself, but because of all the people on the swim team that made it much better.”

Gonzales was able to find a home within swim despite trying many other sports.

“I have been swimming for five years. I tried many sports before I started but it was the one that I liked the most, so I continued practicing throughout high school,” he said. “My plan is to keep swimming once I go back to Spain.”

Gonzales as well as Collietti are to return to their home countries after this school year. In addition, Collietti described his educational experience while on the swim team.

“I learned that being in contact with many people and [spending] a lot of time with them isn’t always easy,” Collietti said. “You have to spend time with other people, adapt, and obviously sacrifice yourself during practice because the difference between a player and a good player is consistency.”

Collietti also learned an important lesson from his coach.

“I learned that [it] isn’t always possible to change the characters of others, so the important thing is to understand them and use their qualities to your advantage,” Collietti said.

Cameron Clark
With an intricate bouquet of red, white and yellow flowers, as well as a lilac-colored towel with “Jersey Village High School” carefully embroidered on it, Eric Dao, senior, participates in the Swim Senior Night.

Brunskill had a very sentimental time at the senior night.

“When attending senior night, I told myself I wouldn’t cry but it ended [up] being an emotional roller coaster because the team has always been close, because [the] majority of us are coming from the three summer league teams around the JV area so it was a realization that it’s all coming to an end and any teammates will always have a special place in my heart. They’re like family,” she said.

Brunskill does not intend to continue swimming but is grateful for her years of experience in swim and water polo.

“What I learned during swim and just being on a team in general is that you’re not alone, to just be yourself, and it can be tiresome both personally and academically but in a way I like it,” She said. “You have to keep up with your grades and tutoring because in the end it’s for you and only you.”

Brunskill reminisced about her time on swim and how she overcame obstacles to do what she loved.

“My overall experience of my high school swim career has been a lot [of] both good and bad times with myself and teammates but we overcome these obstacles and came closer with one another. It’s been a great past few years and honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because in the end my teammates [and] friends are like family to me,” She said.

Brunskill is looking forward to a new stage of life with college despite discontinuing swim.

“Although I’ll miss being around these beautiful people, I’m ready to start my new journey at my future college pursuing my major: Psychology, as well as possibly playing in college with new faces, new coaches, more competitive games and opportunity [and] experiences,” she said.