Senior Night is the culmination of the graduating class’ time on a team, and it is on this night when the announcer read out the senior’s names and their accomplishments in a sport during their time at Lawrenceville.
Senior Night is months out, however, from the initial determination period for varsity rosters: pre-season. Prospective athletes are invited to come to begin fall athletics preseason just before the start of the school year. The goal is for each student-athlete to demonstrate his/her talents and qualify for a roster spot. Even if you are not selected as a varsity teammate, you can continue trying out for junior varsity. Preseason is a chance to show coaches your talents so if the time does come where someone needs to be called up to varsity, they look to you.
Tryouts tend to consist of one to two practices or team-wide events during the morning and afternoon, with the rest of the day left to socialize, meet new students, and prepare for the school year. Varsity teams are decided slightly after the rest of school comes back and to give any students unable to make preseason an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.
Varsity teams at Lawrenceville tend to be largely composed of seniors, as many students either work their way up the ladder beginning as Second Former, new Third Former, or post-graduate student. This was my experience for soccer: I came in as a Second Former and played on the freshman team, spent two years on junior varsity (one as captain), and this year made the varsity team.
Over the course of our season (with lots of highs and lows), boy’s varsity soccer ended with a 6-0 victory against a MAPL school and celebrated with a team banquet later. Every member of a varsity roster also receives a “Major L,” which is a certificate showing the respective level of competition a student reached. Junior varsity and freshmen receive a “Minor L.” Although this year’s varsity soccer team didn’t have the best record over 12 weeks and around 20 games, we made bonds and left with relationships we’ll keep over the rest of the school year and likely after Lawrenceville too.
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose. Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.