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Liz Delaney's '18 Spring Sports Banquet Speech Still Resonating
Liz Delaney's '18 Spring Sports Banquet Speech Still Resonating

Words of Wisdom from the Wake Forest Bound Alumna Will Provide Insight for Current SR Student-Athletes & Coaches

The Class of 2018 dramatically helped transform the SR WAY athletic culture at the School. There were many things that the general community would never hear about that made an impact. One major moment was during the US Spring Sports Awards Banquet when Liz Delaney '18 gave a personal and heartfelt speech to the audience. According to AD Jason McGhee, "It was a speech I'll never forgot because Liz meant every word she shared, and it resonated. She covered facility improvements, multiple coaches that had positive influences on her, her teammates, and most important, she shared stories about friendships, team bonding, and memories created. It's the type of experience we strive to make for every SR student-athlete. As I listened, I felt so much gratitude for all she and her classmates had done for SR Athletics." Please take a moment and enjoy Liz's  speech below:

"When I look back on my four years of playing sports for Stone Ridge, I see an immeasurable amount of charge that I realize now how lucky I am to have witnessed and be a part of. While a part of this change included all of the excitement around the turf field being built during my freshman year, this does not compare to the overall shift in the mindset that has made the Stone Ridge athletic program what it is today. 

This year's lacrosse season is a perfect example of how I've seen Stone Ridge athletics grow and develop in ways that have positively impacted the entire school community. When Coach Kristen had the seniors to her house for dinner the night before tryouts began, I really didn't know what to expect. She ended up telling us that she saw the potential in our team and knew exactly what she had to do for us to reach that potential, but that it was crucial for us as seniors to be fully dedicated in order to encourage the same enthusiasm in the rest of the team. While I walked out of Coach Kristen's house that night with a new level of excitement for the months to come, I was still unaware of what I was truly about to experience during my last season playing a sport for Stone Ridge.

The lacrosse program made history this year by drastically improving our record and ranking for the first time in 12 years. While this is a great testament to how much we have improved as a team, this is not what made this the best season for me. What made this my favorite season were the countless memories made on and off the field that brought us closer as a team, whether it was being dragged across the mud together in tug of war, applying self tanner as an entire team, or cheering on the freshman as they inhaled their big macs. And despite the unfortunate outcome of our semi final game against Visitation, I walked away from this season with something much greater than a win in the record book. I walked away with a group of girls who I can truly call my best friends. At the end of the day, this is what is most important, and this is what I will remember for the rest of my life.

My field hockey coach, Gloria, used to look at us during the games and say, "don't do it for yourselves, and don't do it for me. Do this for your teammates. Do it for each other." To me, this embodies the culture of Stone Ridge sports that I have seen develop during my time here. It means valuing every single person and what they bring to the team. On the field, it means holding each other accountable in ways that build each other up instead of placing blame or putting each other down. It also means pushing yourself to be the best not only for your personal gain, but for everyone else playing or practicing on the field with you.

To all freshman, sophomores, and juniors, remember how lucky you are to be a part of this community, and make the most out of every moment you have left, because before you know it, you will be in the position I am in now, wondering how it all could have possibly gone by so fast.

To my coaches, thank you for always pushing me to be my best, for your unwavering dedication, and for inspiring all of your players to believe in each other and ourselves.

To Mr. McGhee and the entire athletic department, thank you for constantly working to make all Stone Ridge teams the best they can be, and for going above and beyond in your jobs every day for all of us.

Andy finally, to my seniors, thank you for being with me every step of the way. There is no one else I would rather share these memories with over the past four years, and having you all by my side has made this the best high school experience I could have ever hoped for.

I will never forget the people I have gotten to know and the memories I have made from playing sports at Stone Ridge, and I am infinitely grateful to be a part of a community in which I have truly found a home."