This past season was expected to be a rebuild year after losing such a large senior class from the year before. On top of that, there was a change in staff and a much tougher schedule. Surprisingly to many, they easily exceeded expectations. The whole season the group improved from a direct attacking group into a cohesive unit that out possessed CovCath in the Regional Semis.
That was all well and good, but it wasn't until last night when you realized how special this group of seniors was where it mattered most. During the awards, the juniors give their good byes to the seniors. At most programs, this becomes a roast session. I know that I used that time in college to put in as many rips at the senior I presented as I could. However, the juniors gave heartfelt thanks and compliments to the seniors. I found that to be a very interesting insight into the program. There was a level of respect that I don't think many places have. It really showed how this group became such a good team. They were being led by a group that commanded respect.
After this, the seniors were given a chance to say their good byes. It was incredible. The clarity and ability to convey a message stretched across each one. There was a sense of selflessness within their wishing the program well and saying how much they looked forward to seeing where the program goes. It just showed why the younger classes respected them so much. They didn't lead by example so much as they led by giving. They left the program in better shape than they found it, and it wasn't due to their talent or accomplishments. Rather, it was due to the respect that they showed to their teammates and the example they left about what it takes to succeed. This was a special group and they will be missed by the rest of us who enjoyed watching them.