At the end of a sports season, many high school sports teams host a "Senior Night" ceremony where the teammates, captains and parents of the team honour the senior athletes. Some schools host banquets for each team, for each season of sports, or as one big end-of-the-year celebration for all senior athletes. Senior Night celebrations usually food, awards and several speeches. There are numerous activities and traditions one can incorporate into a senior sports night celebration.
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Many Senior Night celebrations feature an array of photos of the senior athletes in action over their careers. You can also include formal pictures taken of each senior out of their sports gear. Photos can be displayed in a number of ways, you can lay numerous photos flat on top of a table cloth, and cover the cloth with a large, see-through shower curtain. This way everyone can see the photos without moving or ruining them. This is a great way not only to decorate tables, but to let everyone look for photos of themselves among all of the pictures. Photos can also be displayed in posters or collages placed around the room. Many teams also develop a highlight reel that shows photos and clips of seniors playing sports throughout their sports careers or their most recent season.
Many Senior Sports Night celebrations include food. Some events are hosted at a local restaurant and include a sit down meal, or they may be held at the high school gym or cafeteria and have a dinner catered in. You can also serve finger foods or appetizers and soda only at the event to save on costs and cut down on time as well. Many celebrations also include a cake for desert. Many times the cake will have an inspirational saying or pictures of various senior athletes on them. Allow for senior athletes to be the ones to cut the cake and try the dessert first, as the night is in honour of them.
Speeches are very common at Senior Night awards as it gives seniors, players and coaches the opportunity to honour senior athletes and share their experiences on the team. If there is time, let each senior athlete make a short speech. If there has to be a limit, have the team vote on one or two athletes to speak or have the team captain talk. Other sports teams decide to have a younger captain or player talk on behalf of the rest of the team, honouring the senior athletes. Coaches and assistant coaches almost always talk at Senior Night, as they give positive messages of encouragement to the seniors and reflect upon each of their time as a player.
Senior Night is also a popular time to give away awards to players who the team feels deserves special recognition. You can give awards such as "Most Valuable Player," "Best Leader," or a "Senior of the Year Award." Have the team vote on who gets the awards. Give each player who receives an award a certificate or plaque upon reception. If you are holding Senior Night with multiple sports teams, have all of the coaches vote on one male and one female "Senior Athlete of the Year Award" to honour the best all-around senior athletes at the school.
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