Prep Sports

Xavier senior athletes feel the pain, but enjoy the memories

HS journalism: Soccer, track and tennis athletes looking ahead

Xavier's Quinn Hanigan (left), putting pressure on Iowa City West's Marnie Vorderhaar during a 2017 game, enjoyed her ti
Xavier’s Quinn Hanigan (left), putting pressure on Iowa City West’s Marnie Vorderhaar during a 2017 game, enjoyed her time on the Saints’ girls’ soccer team. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — One moment has the potential to change a person’s life in either a positive or a negative way.

This holds true for high school athletes involved in spring sports.

Gov/ Kim Reynolds announced April 17 that all schools in Iowa would be closed for the remainder of the school year. Spring sports were also canceled immediately. This news meant many seniors, including those at Xavier, would lose their final seasons.

Nick Fischer is sad to see his last season in boys’ soccer cut short, but is looking forward to what is to come.

“It really stinks that we will not have a soccer season but I believe everything happens for a reason and God has a plan,” Fischer said. “Life is bigger than sports but I am so grateful for all the memories and friendships I created.”

Fischer has learned a lot during his time at Xavier — from his coaches and teammates — and will never forget all the amazing memories and life lessons.

“I am definitely going to miss going all out with my teammates every game as well as all of the long charter bus rides where we all joke around,” Fischer said. “My favorite memory would be winning the MVC tournament and hanging out with all of the guys at the hotels during state.”

Quinn Hanigan, a member of the girls’ soccer team, feels the same way. She has cherished her time at Xavier and thanks the girls’ soccer program for all it has given her.

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“I am going to miss my incredible teammates as well as the coaching staff,” Hanigan said. “Everyone always put in 100 percent of their effort all the time. Without all of them, I would not be able to leave Xavier as a state champion, which is a memory I will have for the rest of my life.

“Being in an atmosphere where we all pushed each other is what made our team thrive.”

Members of the girls’ and boys’ track teams also are appreciative for the three years they had competing for Xavier.

“Xavier track has been like a second family to me and I am forever grateful that I was able to enjoy three years of it,” Cate Tucker said.

Tyler Dupont, a senior on the boys’ track team, echoed Tucker’s statement of the family atmosphere felt by his teammates and coaches.

“Running at state the last three years was extremely cool and the atmosphere was incredible,” Dupont said. “If you work hard, track can be a very rewarding sport. I have always loved being pushed by my teammates but also trying my best to make them the best athletes they can be, too.

“It has been an awesome four-year journey on the track team and I am very proud to have run track for the Xavier Saints.”

Tennis players also are missing their season, in particular members of the boys’ team that was looking forward to another chance at state.

In his four years of high school, Wes Johnson won two team state championships and had a runner-up finish in doubles last year with junior Matthew Schmit.

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“Being a part of the tennis program has been one of my favorite things I have done at Xavier,” Johnson said. “It is something I look forward to all year. Our success during the season and how we have been able to win multiple championships at my time here adds to the excitement.

“Although our team won’t be able to compete this year, I know they will be back next year.”

Even though seniors are going to miss their final year of playing spring sports for Xavier, they have left a legacy for younger players to follow for years to come.

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