Senior Athletic Dubs Hang Up Their Cleats

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Senior Athletic Dubs Hang Up Their Cleats

Last Swing: Senior Patrick Hannan is one of many who leave behind a beloved sport upon graduation.

Last Swing: Senior Patrick Hannan is one of many who leave behind a beloved sport upon graduation.

Dennis Racket

Last Swing: Senior Patrick Hannan is one of many who leave behind a beloved sport upon graduation.

Dennis Racket

Dennis Racket

Last Swing: Senior Patrick Hannan is one of many who leave behind a beloved sport upon graduation.

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Think about your average high-level high school athlete, one who is now in his or her senior year. Since they were, say, four years old, they’ve been playing the sport they love. And since that time, through rec league, through middle school, in off-season league play and throughout their high school careers, they’ve lived and breathed the sport that they love. As graduation is right around the corner, the reality of retiring from that sport is somewhat heartbreaking.

The vast majority of North Atlanta athletes are not going to play their sport on the collegiate level. And so the end of a season means the time has come to hang up their cleats. “It hasn’t really hit me yet but when I think about it, it’s really hard,” said senior third baseman Patrick Hannan.

Hannan first stepped between the lines of the baseball diamond at the age of four. He began his career at the Northside Youth Organization (NYO), where he played tee ball for the Sea Wolves. After his first season, Hannan went on to play at Buckhead Baseball for the next eight years. His dad was a big part of his career, sacrificing his time to help his son get better. “There were multiple instances where I wanted to quit because it was too much to handle,” Hannan said. “I’m glad that my dad was there to keep pushing me during those times.”

Enzo Vasallo was a stellar defensive end for the Warriors football team this past season, but will not further his career at the collegiate level. Vasallo began playing football at the age of 7, as he wasn’t immediately a star. Once he chose to invest his time into football, he began to notice the constant improvement of his game as the years passed. His parents were a huge impact on his career, as they pushed him to become better whenever the opportunity was present. “It’s sad to finally see my career come to an end, but I will forever remember the impact that football has had on me,” Vasallo said.

Keely Fitzsimmons has been a key aspect of the North Atlanta girls lacrosse team for the past four years. As a kid, Fitzsimmons always had an interest in lacrosse because her dad played at Middlebury. She would tag along with her father when he went to play in the annual Vail Shootout: a game for alumni who played lacrosse. Her first year playing was at Sutton Middle School as a sixth grader and she ended her career this year as a captain of the North Atlanta varsity team. “Lacrosse was so special to me and it’s hard to accept that this is the end,” Fitzsimmons said.

With the school year coming to a close, it’s time for seniors to reflect on their high school experience. For many of them, sports brought thousands of memories and life-lessons. With college on the horizon, they are looking forward to see what the future has in store, but they will forever reminisce on the days of high school sports.

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