There is something special about being part of a team. Maybe it is the family-like resemblance of the locker room or the adrenaline of being in a game and having to come together to come away with the victory.
Maybe it is the valuable life lessons that go hand in hand with sports, or the brutal practices that force you to go further than you’ve ever gone.
Whatever it is that’s so special, seniors at Keene State College who finished their fall seasons are going to be leaving it behind for their upcoming graduations.
Most have been playing sports their entire life, and now that it is all over, the time come to reflect on their years at KSC.
Kalin and Alex Billert are twins members of the women’s field hockey team. Kalin is a three-year player and transfer from Westfield State who scored 31 goals in her career at KSC.
Alex is a four-year player for KSC and finished with 21 goals in her career, 14 of them occurring in her senior season.
The Billert twins enjoyed a successful career here and playing together made it that much better.
“It was a great four years to play something I love to play,” Kalin said. “Just playing with my sister again, that was awesome.”
So what’s been her favorite moment?
“Honestly, definitely this year. Our coach moved Alex to left mid, and me to left wing. Back in high school we played the same positions, so to play that again, and kind of end the season like that was really cool,” Kalin said.
That coach is Amy Watson, who has enjoyed a lot of success in leading the field hockey team and she had her take on what Alex and Kalin were able to do in their careers.
“They are both really fast and aggressive players. They don’t let up,” Watson said.
“They kind of know what each other is going to do so we are missing two individual players, but we are also going to be missing two players who play really well together.”
They both added that they’d like to stay around field hockey after graduation.
“I definitely want to stay involved,” Alex said. “You can’t take field hockey out of us yet.”
Another senior athlete whose life as an athlete for KSC has come to and is Preston Ingram.
Ingram was a three-year player for the men’s soccer team under coach Ron Butcher. He said he transferred from West Virginia University after his freshman year because he wanted a better opportunity to play.
Ingram was an aggressive player, however his career was riddled with injuries and didn’t pan out exactly the way he planned it.
His junior year he suffered a cam impingement in which the femur grinds against the cartilage near the hip socket. He required two surgeries to get that fixed.
Then in his final season, about halfway through he broke his ankle in a game against Plymouth State University.
“I couldn’t believe another injury with me,” Ingram said. “I had my time when I was obviously upset about it, but that’s just the type of player I am, as much as it sucked, it’s part of the game.”
Ingram still focused on the positive moments though, “So many moments on the field were great, but I think those games where we just came together and played our best soccer.”
He also said that he has a lot to take away from the past three years here.
“[KSC] has an extensive tradition in soccer and you are expected to carry that out,” Ingram said. “So I think when I move on, whatever I enter I will try and bring that same character to anything I do.”
Then there is Thomas Paquette, a cross country runner for KSC who will still participate in indoor track.
As Paquette wraps up his senior cross country season, he is very reflective of how his last four years have been.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking. I mean cross country has been my favorite sport since high school and I didn’t really end my career very well. What I envisioned my season ending like, it just didn’t happen the way I’d like,” Paquette said.
Despite not meeting expectations set for himself, Paquette took away far more than just a place in a race.
“There’s more to running than just running. There is a lot of mental toughness that goes along with running and you really do discover what kind of person you are when you run,” Paquette said.
The cliche that all good things must come to an end could never ring truer than it does for senior athletes at KSC.
And although these athletes will be moving on, into the world, who’s to say they will ever be forgotten? Their legacies may live on in KSC history until someone better comes along.
Many seniors will be experiencing their final season at Keene State College as the 2012 winter athletic season got underway over the past few weeks.
Jay McAree can be contacted at