Seniors, Class of 2021, You Did It!


Courtesy of PDS Communications (via Flickr album)

Jamie Creasi, Online Staff Writer

On Thursday, April 29, Senior Sendoff was celebrated with the annual Junior and Senior Flag Football game. Throughout the school day, the big game was all that everyone talked about: “Who do you think will win?” students asked one another. And at 3:00pm, the PDS Upper School gathered on Baker, the Freshmen and Juniors a flood of pink, and the Sophomores and Seniors a wave of black. 

It started to rain as the Upper School was walking to the field, a friendly, teasing rain. The sky seemed to be covered under a light gray, silk blanket, one that still allowed flecks of sunshine through. The wind was chilly yet friendly, and while it often pushed against the line of students, their excitement to watch the game propelled them closer and closer to the field. The rain and wind was not going to hinder the game, nor hamper the motivated students. 

From yards away, students could hear upbeat music coming from the bleachers. The Juniors and Seniors, in their pink and black shirts respectively, were warming up and getting ready for the big game, the rest of the students lining up on the margin of the field. Junior Caroline Ewing shared that “it was super fun coming together as a grade for the game, whether we were playing or on the sidelines.” Some talked to each other over the music, while others cheered loudly under their masks, a pre-game cheer to the players whose shirt color matched their own. 

But behind every “Yes Juniors!” and “Go Seniors!”, there was a voice that was cheering, “go Panthers!”

Under the COVID-19 circumstances, the Class of 2021 spent their entire senior year wearing masks separated by plexiglass in the classrooms and campus center, restricted by new safety protocols––abnormalities only building on top of the already existing pressure and stress of senior year. Yet the Class of 2021 took on this challenge just as they took on any other challenge previously faced, whether it was in school or on the field. More than that, they served as role models to the rest of their schoolmates, leading by example.

After four years, this is what the Class of 2021 has come down to: Four years of new friends, enjoyable memories, laughter, fulfilled and newly set goals and dreams. Four years of determination, hard work, sleepless nights, and on top of all of that, persistence. Four years of responsibility, self-motivation, exploration, growing passion. After four years, this is the game that encapsulates it all into 40 minutes. We work hard, we fight hard, all for a purpose, but there’s joy in the process. 


A note from Liv Phillips, Class of 2021:

“Since this is an annual event, in any year, this game would have been special. But in COVID-19 times, it means even more. It was one of the few little tastes of normalcy that any of us have had in over a year, and for that I am so grateful. You hear so much about senior year and how that’s supposed to go, and understandably we didn’t get much of that; but this gave us a memory and a moment to hold on to and cherish as we leave PDS. I’ve always said Class of 2021 is just one big party: we’re loud, obnoxiously competitive, and always having a good time. This solidified that in my mind and allowed us to leave such a strong legacy on the school that wasn’t just ‘the COVID-19 grade.’ I am truly so grateful for this experience as a whole and that the whole Upper School was able to come support.”

To the Class of 2021, thank you for everything you have contributed to the PDS community, and we wish you all the best in the years to come!