HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - The day after the NJSIAA officially canceled the 2020 spring season for high school sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hasbrouck Heights girls softball team celebrated a unique Senior Day on Tuesday.
Working in conjunction with parents, current and former players, Hasbrouck Heights softball coach Jackie Ferranti showed up with flowers, posters (made by the current and former players), and took family pictures much as they would do on a regular Senior Day.
“Today, was supposed to be Senior Day at Montclair State,“ Ferranti stated. “So I wanted to do something to recognize that. Then I heard from parents who wanted to do something, and this is what we came up with.”
Ferranti went to each of the six seniors' houses, and took pictures of the players with their families. Ferranti read an individualized speech for each one of them, as she would have at Montclair State, reflecting on their time in the program, what they had accomplished, and what they were poised to accomplish this year.
(The Class of 2020 finished with a 64-17 record during its four years in the program, compiling the third highest win total of any class. This is in spite of the fact that the team had no chance to add to that total this season.)
Each of the girls was asked for their thoughts about their unique senior day.
“Throughout my childhood and high school I experienced many senior nights whether I was a part of them, or I was watching my sisters team from the stands at that Montclair (State University women’s softball) field, and I couldn’t wait for the night it was me being celebrated. Although it sadly didn’t go as planned, my senior night was amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I still felt so special and loved.
I am definitely going to miss the bonds I had with my teammates throughout Hasbrouck Heights softball. This program gave me friendships I wouldn’t trade for the world and a second family which I will always be thankful for.” Amanda Gasparino
“It was special because Coach went out of her way to come to all the seniors houses, give us flowers and read the speeches she always gives. It was really hard not being with my friends to celebrate our day together but Coach made it hard to ever forget this day.
I'm going to miss how close of a family we were. All the team bonding we did, our laughs, and all of our inside jokes we made together.”- Julia Campen
When I thought about my senior night, this is not what I had expected. I am glad that my fellow seniors and I were still able to be recognized during these unprecedented times.
The thing that I am going to miss the most about softball in Hasbrouck Heights is the bond my teammates and I have. Throughout my high school career, my team has always felt like a family. We support one another and have a lot of fun together. I've made many memories that will last a lifetime.” - Erin Owens
“Senior day, this year, was like no other. I am extremely grateful to have a coach that cares so much about us that she would come to our houses. I am going to miss the sisterhood we had. Softball is the kind of sport where you are extremely close with your teammates because of all the bonding we do on and off the field. I am also going to really miss the coaches because they care about us so much and it really shows. I'm happy I got to do amazing things like go to Florida, and win Leagues twice with these girls.” Gianna Martinez
Senior Day was great for what we could work with. Of course I wished us seniors had our senior night, but I am very grateful for coach taking time out of her day to make us seniors feel appreciated. What I am going to miss most is definitely the friendships developed over the 4 years.” - Emily Byrne
"Even though we weren’t able to play a game at Montclair State, this was the next best thing. It was extremely thoughtful of coach to do that for us, and I am beyond grateful for it. I am going to miss the unity and friendships. There was a bond amongst all of us that was unmatchable and I will remember it forever." - Alexa Marinelli
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