Friday, November 14, 2014

Thoughts from the Press Box: Saying Goodbye

CLIFTON PARK - As the last of the fans began to leave Steuerwald Field, an empty feeling began to fill Shenendehowa High School.

It was twenty minutes after Queensbury finished the Burnt Hills Spartans season, winning the Class A Super Bowl 34-13 to advance to the State Tournament.

The custodial staff was cleaning up the debris left by the fans.

The Times Union reporter James Allen was interviewing coach Matt Shell for his newspaper article.

And one player, kneeing on the five yard line.

Like several of his teammates, Danny Maynard had his high school football career come to an end on Saturday night.  Unlike those other teammates, Maynard spent the last minutes before boarding the bus back to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School kneeing on the field.

It's then when you realize.   It's tough saying "goodbye".

Even if you are a successful athlete who will be playing sports during his collegiate career.  Maynard signed a National Letter of Intent this week to play collegiate baseball at Notre Dame as a catcher.

Danny Maynard was a member of the 2012 Burnt Hills State Championship team.  In fact, he was the State Class A Most Valuable Player that year as a Sophomore, and has seen his game improved over the years.  Coach Shell, when I spoke to him prior to the first meeting in Week 7, had nothing but outstanding things to say about Maynard.

In fact ... maybe all those accolades he has earned made it harder to say "goodbye".

Danny Maynard did not play in the Exceptional Seniors bowl at Shenendehowa this week, which made this game his true exit from the game he played exceptionally well.

So the last image of him on the football field will be this.  Whatever comes of his baseball career moving onto Notre Dame after his senior year this upcoming Spring, we wish Danny Maynard a lot of success.

He's earned it.

And it's images like this that makes you realize what goes through the minds of our local athletes when they realize their high school football career comes to an end.

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