Second Annual Senior Send-Off


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A great event to have with your graduating Seniors is what we call Senior Sendoff. It is one last opportunity to solidify your relationship with them, exchange contact information and show them that you care about them.

One SportsLeader team that does an amazing job of this is the Sandusky Ohio St. Mary Central Catholic High School football team.

Head Coach Ryan Wikel shares his experience below.

Virtue=Strength, Lou Judd 
SportsLeader Strength for Life Manual

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The 2012 Seniors with their Dads at Father-Son Jersey Night

The Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic Panther Football Team had their 2nd annual senior send-off Sunday, June 9th. It was held at assistant coach Robert Burch’s house. At the send-off, the coaching staff prepared a meal of hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken on the grill along with other items prepared by the coach’s wives.


A Virtue poster created by one of the Senior Football players Ayden Opfer.

After eating, the coaches challenged the players to many different competitions including cornhole, kan-jam, and kickball. The highlight for the coaches was when they traveled to the varsity softball field and defeated the seniors in a game of kickball 18-1. It is amazing what happens when the players do not have a coach! Six of the 8 seniors were able to attend along with 7 coaches. The SportsLeader program was implemented with last year’s senior send-off so this was the first senior class to experience the entire program. Last year’s seniors were also invited to come out and 3 of them attended as well.

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After the kickball game was finished, we traveled back to the Burch residence and had a great discussion with the seniors. We sat in a circle and the coaches talked about what this senior class has meant to our program and what our expectations were for them in the future. We ask them to remain a part of our program by sending text messages or calling members of the team at various times of the year (example-prom night, opening night of season).

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We exchange contact information and encourage them to call us if they need anything in the future. We ended the session by giving the seniors 2 different books. They either received the “Uncommon Daily Reader”, by Tony Dungy, or “The Maxwell Daily Reader”, by John C. Maxwell. Both books discuss virtue and offer them a one page reading per day to help them stay on track. In the front cover, the coaching staff signed the books and wished them good luck.


Leaving the field after their last game together - "The Panther Brotherhood"

The event was scheduled from 5-8 pm, but after the discussion, the seniors continued to hangout and continued to challenge the coaches to various games. They left close to 9:30pm. The event was a great success and I encourage everyone to end the year with a senior-send-off. I will end the article with some of the comments that were either texted to me or put on twitter after the wonderful might.


“Thank You for putting together the wonderful get together yesterday. It’s a day I’ll remember forever.” –Harold Rohrbacher

“Had a great time with my football family, thanks.” -Alex Guerra

“Love being with the Panther Football Family.” -Ayden Opfer

“Excited to spend some time with the Panther Football Family today!” -Adam Guerra