It is hard to put into words what it feels like when the season comes to an end. First comes the shock. The shock comes from the time the final out is recorded until Coach meets you in the outfield for the post-game meeting. Everything you have worked for and dedicated your time to since Fall Workouts has come to an abrupt ending. It is shocking.
Next comes the ultimate emotion: heartbreak. Time has been spent talking about team meetings after losses and jubilant team meetings after wins, but nothing can prepare you for the team meeting after your final game, especially when your team is as close-knit as this team is. You're in tears because Ryan Hines and Ben Burgess will never go to battle with you again, you're in tears because you realize how strong the bond has gotten with Kevin Riley and his new teammates that he's only known for mere months, and you are mostly in tears because all the fun you have had on the field (and mostly off the field) have now come to an end until next year. There wasn't a dry eye in that team meeting last night. Not from the coaches nor from any team member, because that is what a family is like. It has been hard to cultivate a culture of sticktoitiveness and hard-nosed baseball, but this group has turned the tide. This team was close. You may not understand why there were tears, depressed looks, and short conversations, but for those who have laced up those cleats with your closest friends: you know exactly how gut-wrenching it is.
However, you may not want to hear it now, but for all of the non-seniors: there is next year. At the end of the season, you never think next season will "ever" be like this year, until you get to the fall workouts and you realize that same feeling of comradery and hope is right where it left off.
Let me leave you with this quote from Jim Bouton, "You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time."
So, to everyone who has supported and followed Gaston Christian Baseball this season: thank you. This season was one to be remembered, because after years and years, we had 7:00pm games under the lights and you better believe every coach and player enjoyed every second of those lights and will for years to come.