Tonight was a milestone event in the life of my grandson Dayan, the first of many that will occur during this, his senior year in high school. And because it was important to Dayan, it was important to us, his family. For my daughter Elissa, Dayan’s mom, this was a milestone moment in her life as well.
Tonight was the final home game for the Carl Junction Bulldogs football team. Which meant it was also the last time this year that the Bulldogs Marching Band took the field during halftime. The evening was designated as Senior Night. Twelfth graders who participated in football, band, dance team, cheerleading, cross country, girls’ golf, dynamics and tennis were honored.
Before the game began, the seniors and their parents lined up on the football field. Each teen stepped forward with his or her parents, as the senior’s name was called, and accomplishments were read over the loudspeaker. The student’s selected college was announced as well, along with future plans, and a list of people the senior wished to thank. It was a very honoring ceremony, full of gratitude, pride and emotion.
I was so proud of Dayan, standing there tall and smiling between his beaming parents. He was recently accepted into Missouri University in Columbia, where he will pursue a degree in political science.
After an exciting first half, that ended with Carl Junction and Pittsburg tied 14 – 14, the marching band took the field for the last time in 2016. It was such a poignant moment. The seniors in the band have played together for years, many of them since fifth grade.
It was a moving, and spectacular performance. The band performed a medley of military tunes as fireworks exploded overhead. For the last tune, the 7th and 8th grade band joined the high schoolers. What a grand way to end the year, and for the seniors, to exit during a high, emotionally charged moment.
The halftime show always ends with the crowd jumping to their feet as the band plays the school’s fight song. Tonight there was a significant difference. As the Bulldogs fight song began, the seniors lowered their musical instruments and marched one by one off of the field, signaling an end to their time in marching band.
What a moment that was, for Dayan, and for his family.
I remember when it was Dayan, as a 7th grader, who first marched with the high school band, onto the field. I remember being incredulous when he marched onto the field the next year as an 8th grader. I marveled that he would soon be entering high school. And when he took the field the following year, he entered as a freshman.
Tonight, he marched onto this football field for the final time. How have these years gone by so quickly? How is it possible that this bright, charming, adorable boy has already become an intelligent, gifted, and dashingly handsome young man, with college in his near future?
Great final halftime performance, Dayan and the Bulldogs Marching Band. Thank you for your commitment and dedication, and for sharing your gifts of music with us. I have loved every minute.
There are more milestone moments to come this year, for Dayan. I’ll be there. His mom will be there. His family will be cheering him on, storing up memories as treasures. I’m so honored to be your Yaya, Dayan.
Watch as the seniors leave the field HERE.