Parasiliti: For the Class of 2011, these were the days

June 05, 2011
  • Bob Parasiliti
Bob Parasiliti

Nostalgia has no concept of time.

Television is a slave to fall premieres. Holidays follow a yearly cycle. And sports seasons are locked into a calendar.

Nostalgia? It comes and goes as it pleases and doesn’t waste time before its appearance.

We are in one of those times of the year when memories hit when we least expect it. These feelings aren’t reserved for just Christmas, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

In June, graduation week brings out voices of the past. This year’s honored guests are the Class of ’11, who crossed over from childhood to adulthood as they marched across the stage for their diplomas.

When the excitement dies down, nostalgia enters.

For graduates, it will be time to remember favorite moments of growing up with best friends they may not see as much anymore.

For parents, it is completely different. A lifetime passes before their eyes, all wrapped in pride and promise and tied together with a feeling of loneliness as the child they brought into the world moves into a new phase of life.

For a guy like me — a sports writer — it is time to reflect those athletic talents who have finished careers. They have kept me in a job and made it fun to come to work.

n Anthony Winter, North Hagerstown —  He was named county player of the year in football and indoor track. As a running back, he was breathtaking with a number of 200-yard performances and a couple that topped 300. He won three track state titles —  two indoors and one outdoors —  to enhance his standing.

n Smithsburg’s Big Three —  The combination of Sara Rishell, Katie Sprecher and Taylor Belella were the tip of the Leopards’ iceberg of talented group of female athletes. The trio was center stage for two volleyball state titles and strong seasons in basketball.

n Mike Etzel, Clear Spring —  He was a little guy with a big heart. He was the Little Engine Who Could as he came out of nowhere to help the Blazers come to the football forefront.

n Jaid Sandeen, South Hagerstown —  She showed versatility to place in the high jump, pole vault and as a member of the 4x200 relay team in indoor season. She followed by winning the outdoor state pole vault title.

n Stephen Christy, Williamsport —  The county player of the year led the Wildcats to the Class 1A semifinals after missing most of his junior year with a scary back injury.

n Zac O’Neal and Megan Crowl, Clear Spring —  Two cousins who made two trips to the state tournament at mixed doubles in tennis, a sport this county isn’t known for.

n Coby Gussio, Boonsboro —  He finished his stellar track and field career with 11 Class 1A state medals, including two golds in this spring’s outdoor meet.

n Kayla Ewing, Williamsport —  She provided the most power seen in quite awhile on the softball field, hitting 10 home runs, including seven in an eight-game span.

There are so many more —  like Ben Daniels, Kenny Kopp, Reggie Russ, Kemper Baker, Colleen Costello, Andre Pierre, Avery Wilmore, Cullan Ganley, Zach Eppard, Nick Stubbs, Ryne Willard, Jonelle Jerwick, Hunter Phillips, Zach Schreiber, Tinuke Adetunji —  who are all part of a huge cast that made a mark on 2010-11.

For you, this week is like a second New Year’s Eve. For me, it’s the end of another era.

It’s time to move out the old and bring in the new. The biggest difference is instead of listening to Auld Lang Syne, School’s Out is blaring. Maybe the more fitting anthem may be the chorus of “Those Were The Days,” a song recorded in the late 1960s.

Those were the days my friend … We thought they’d never end … We’d sing and dance forever and a day … We’d live the life we choose …We’d fight and never lose … For we were young and sure to have our way. … Those were the days, oh yes those were the days.

This verse originated in an old Russian drinking song celebrating youth, idealism and reminiscing, which are similar themes of graduation.

These were the days, my friends. You always hoped, but you never believed they would ever end. As athletes, you sang, dance, fought and played for ever and a day. You’d fight and couldn’t believe you’d ever lose because you were young. That was your way.

These were the days. Now it’s time to take on new challenges and meet new teammates as you fight to win in another day.

Your high school days will never be forgotten. Newspaper clippings and nostalgia will make sure of it.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or by email at

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