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Senior Capture? What's the Point?

Posted on: February 15, 2018
Mr. Hageman and senior Katelyn Powers standing side by side for a Senior Capture photo.

by Mr. Hageman 

Glancing through news today, stories of hate are everywhere.  A student at Ross High School shoots another.  A student pulls a fire-alarm and guns down 17 in Florida.  A woman downtown, over a social media fight, runs over a college student, effectively ending two promising lives.  All of these stories have all appeared on in the last 24 hours.  Unfortunately, the news cycle never stops and there is no shortage of stories that follow the same pattern.   


Being in education, much of the school's role is to provide students a safehaven and positive learning environment.   Yes we teach math, history, and music, but we also teach kids how to respect themselves, have confidence, and prepare to be productive citizens.  We teach tolerance and character as much as anything else.  


Which leads me to the Senior Capture.  Maybe it is generational?  Maybe I am “getting old.”  Maybe I just don’t get it.  Senior capture is the “tradition” that started somewhere in the last four to five years.  Sidebar - this is a relatively new phenomenon and NOT a tradition.  Underclassman girls from various organizations capture their senior teammates.  Usually this takes place at the end of the season while the teams are in the crucial portion of their tournament seasons.  Team members typically go to each girls home, wake them up around 4:00 - 5:00 A.M, dress the girls like clowns, smear their face with make-up, and take them out into the community for breakfast.  After that, the girls come to school where they walk the halls and classes in their ridiculous outfits.  Despite the fact that most teenagers already get too little sleep and this is somewhat detrimental to the success of these teams, what is the point?  Sure, I get the bonding argument.  But, the “we have always done it” argument holds far less water.  I have reached out to countless alumni and most have stated that this “tradition” was never part of their experience.   


I understand that many see it a simply good ole-fashion fun.  But if fun and celebrating seniors is the goal, why not change and start a new tradition that truly embraces the good and positive that is often brought forth by team sports and activities?  What if the Oak Hills culture embraced a new tradition that valued and celebrated accomplishments?  What if we praised the sacrifice, leadership, and dedication that these Seniors have put into their organizations over the last four years, rather than attempting to humiliate them?  


It is easy enough to find others that will be cruel; those that will try to diminish accomplishments.  We are better than this “tradition.”  As athletes, you have an opportunity to be leaders of change that can showcase and highlight your teammates.  So capture your seniors.  Take them to breakfast.  Show the community and your school how great many of these girls are and how you value what they have brought to your respective sports over the last four years.  Celebrate!