With heavy hearts since the day spring sports was canceled for the rest of the school year, local athletic directors wanted to do something special to recognize their senior athletes and give some closure on what has been a very challenging few months.
Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our local school superintendents and athletic directors, the go-ahead has been granted for the spring senior athlete parade for all Genesee County schools which will take place Tuesday, June 2, 2020 beginning in Stafford and running through most area towns and villages in Genesee County.
“It was sad that it had to come to this,” Byron-Bergen AD Rich Hannan said. “We thought it would be a great idea to have a big parade to celebrate all the seniors in the Genesee Region League. Then I thought, why not include all the high schools in Genesee county? So, we did and this is where we are. All schools in the county are welcomed to attend and have parents and families celebrate their spring senior athletes. I give a lot of credit to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for supporting our idea. As a parent of a 2020 senior athlete, I know how families are feeling at this time. If this parade brings a little positive to these seniors, then I am a happy AD, teacher, coach, and parent.”
Starting around 5:30 p.m. that Tuesday in Stafford, the parade will begin near the fire hall and go west on Route 5 to Route 63 into Batavia then north to Oakfield, east on Route 262 to Byron and south on Route 237 back to Stafford.
The event will adhere to all social distance guidelines, with parents driving each senior athlete.
“We expect the kids to have fun, decorate the cars, signs and whatever they want,” Hannan added.
Families can also make signs, hang out on the parade route at any safe locations.
Following the parade there will be a chicken BBQ at the Stafford Fire Hall which will include a drive-thru operation.
“It breaks my heart for these senior athletes and it is such a small window for high school athletics, so to be deprived of that seems so unfair to these athletes and their parents,” Attica AD Eric Romesser said. “This parade June 2 will be all about pride! Take pride in the athlete you are, the memories you have, and be proud of the years of hard work that you have put in. I am so proud of each of these seniors and excited to see where their post high school journey will take them. Remember, in this journey of life, to always be a great teammate.”
Schools that have agreed to participate include Alexander, Attica, Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Caledonia-Mumford, Elba, Le Roy, Notre Dame, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion and Pembroke. Hannan thought inviting Cal-Mum was the right choice as they are right near the Genesee County border and a football merge with B-B.
“Every school district, their stakeholders and their communities feel for the Class of 2020,” Pembroke AD Ryan Winchip said. “These students are missing out on creating so many lasting memories with their friends. The idea of the parade for all Genesee County schools is a great idea. It brings a larger sense of community for the entire county. I am sure everyone agrees that as school stakeholders we need to continue to come up with creative ideas to honor the Class of 2020, so they can make different types of lasting memories. The senior parade will be something I am sure these student-athletes will never forget for as long as they live.”
Alexander AD Robert Adams is totally on board to give his Trojan seniors the proper send-off.
“This parade is just another way our region and leagues have come together for our student-athletes,” Adams said. “They have worked so hard over their six years in interscholastic athletics, only for the last of that to be taken away from them this spring. We have many strong and grounded athletes within our region, many who are continuing their athletic careers and words cannot express how proud our districts are of our athletes and the mountains they climb every year, especially this year. We have watched these young athletes grow and improve as athletes and as good citizens. They deserve every and any recognition we can send their way. I am extremely proud of our Alexander seniors and the seniors in our neighboring districts as well. It has been a pleasure watching them compete and grow together. Bringing them all together one last time out of competition will be a memory that will last a lifetime.”
Genesee Region Chairman Jeff Schlagenhauf, also the AD at O-A, believes the parade will be well-attended and a chance for these seniors to get that final ovation they all deserve.
“With the unprecedented cancellation of the spring high school athletic season, this parade is an opportunity for parents, family, friends and school staff to honor and recognize the Class of 2020 in a truly unique and deserving way,” Schlagenhauf said.