Gridiron Gifts: Senior Studs Support Star Athletes

Looking for new ways to unite the senior class, current Senior Class President Ashtyn Dye came up with “Senior Studs,” a collaboration with our student athletes and student supporters, in which the two are partnered up for the football season and the athlete receives a basket of goodies from their partner on game days each week.

On an early Sunday morning, Dye had messaged all the senior officers and their sponsor, Emily Boehringer, about her idea; just 24 hours later, all the plans were set in place. The participants were gathered, T-shirts were in the process of being ordered and all of the senior football players had received a personal questionnaire to fill out in order to help their assigned partner build more personal gifts for the game days. While Dye had initially feared rejection of her idea, Senior Studs has already proven to be a huge success on campus.

“The progress I’ve seen has been absolutely amazing. I really never thought it would work out so well, but it progressed so fast within a day we got it started,” explained Dye. “We had all 42 female spots filled in one night. I truly was so thankful and happy that it all flowed so smoothly and that we could start it for the first home game.”

On Aug. 31, prior to the Rockwall Heath game, the senior athletes were brought their first gift of the season from the girl they were paired with. In regards to the gift, it is completely dependent on what the female participants wish to fill it with, as well as decor. Based on the questionnaire the athletes filled out, many girls included Gatorade, candy, and band-aids in their gifts. One of the pairs, Peyton Thompson and Josh Kurian, were excited when they got paired together randomly because they had already known eachother, but saw it as an opportunity to strengthen their friendship even more. Thompson and Kurian met during a passing period last Thusday to do the exchange, and snapped a picture together.

“I bought lots of snacks, gatorade, a Whataburger gift card and Heath bars since we were playing Rockwall Heath,” explained Thompson. “I also bought purple and gold tissue paper and glued his football jersey number on there for decoration.”

Kurian, senior varsity football player, was excited to receive his gift, but didn’t know what to expect.

“I kept of asking Peyton what she got me but she wouldn’t show me since it would ruin the surprise. I finally got to meet up with her and she was holding this basket full of all my favorite snacks, a drink and a gift card to my favorite place to eat after game days,” explained Kurian. “Peyton and I were already friends but senior studs has already made us closer.”

Dye initially thought of Senior Studs when she was thinking of ways to build up more school spirit throughout our school, as well as show more appreciation to our student athletes. As a varsity cheerleader, she works closely to the football team, so she is aware of all the hard work the football team contributes to the school.

“The purpose of the gifts is to bring the athlete a little bit of joy and happiness to their game day and get them pumped for the night. Adding school spirit and encouragement is the ultimate goal,” Dye said.

After football season ends, Dye and the other senior class officers plan on organizing Senior Studs for other sports as well. According to Dye, the whole point of this new tradition is to provide an inclusive way of showing school spirit and appreciation to all of our falcon athletes.

“I hope that throughout each season it will bring our class together in supporting each other. I think that stepping out of your comfort zone and cheering on your classmates is one of the coolest things you can do,” explained Dye. “I hope that it builds friendships and bonds that brings unity to our class.”

Mackenzie Panganiban

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