Home > Former athletes share advice before seniors’ final game | USA Today High School Sports

Former athletes share advice before seniors’ final game | USA Today High School Sports

This Friday plenty of seniors will be playing their final football game under the lights. In the upcoming playoff weeks, the number of athletes playing their final football game will only grow.

I’ve been there – even as a bench-warmer it was tough realizing that it was all over. So to help this year’s seniors playing their last game, I’ve reached out to a group of guys who played their final high school football game a year ago.

Even though they’ve graduated and are on to bigger and better things, these former players have plenty of advice for anyone wrapping up their high school playing days.

1) What advice do you have for seniors playing in their final game on Friday?

“Before your final game, don’t forget who you went on this journey with. Thank those who supported you through the good and the bad, whether it be parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and whoever. Let them know how they helped you along the way.” – Brady Beedon, Marysville

“I would say just cherish it as much as you can. The brotherhood you make under the Friday night lights is something you can never get back.” – Jake Schmidt, Richmond

“Play your heart out. Be able to walk off that field knowing that you left everything you have out there with your football family.” – Larry Ochadleus, St. Clair

2) What will you never forget from your final football game?

“I’ll never forget standing there after the game, in disbelief it was over and realizing how much football truly meant to me from the surreal atmospheres on Fridays nights to the brotherhood that comes along with playing. I stayed on that field for as long as I could after soaking up every last ounce of high school football I had left.” – Kyle Burch, Port Huron Northern

“The memory I have in mind most vividly from my final game would be the feeling of numbness. My entire body from head to toe, and this time it wasn’t from the physicality of the game, but rather the flood of emotions when it finally hit me that was the last time I’d ever play on that field.” – Ravin Randall, Port Huron

“I’ll always remember being in the end zone after the game and hugging each of the seniors and coaches. Seeing the guys who I’ve played with since TAFL and been friends with for years bawling and hugging is something that I’ll never forget. Shows how much football really means. We were 1-8 and I loved that team more than any other team I’ve been on. It was weird to think it was all over.” – Mike Vernier, Algonac

3) What do you miss the most about high school football?

“What I miss about football is the practices, Friday nights and being around my teammates and coaches every day. I was lucky enough to have great relationships with coaches while I was playing and of course I still do, but what I really do miss about football – other than the touchdowns and being around your team – is that feeling running out of the tunnel and having that ball in my hands looking for the end zone.” – Jarrett Mathison, Marine City

“I miss scoring those long touchdown runs, and just being out there every day Friday competing with all of my best friends.” – Devin Skatzka, Richmond

“The thing that I miss the most about football is the atmosphere of the school on a Friday. Nobody could ever focus, including the teachers, and the buzz around the community was electric. I had the privilege to be put in a very good situation at Marlette, with a very good supporting cast. I’ll never forget the feeling of scoring six and celebrating with my teammates.” – Connor Thomas, Marlette

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