Bittersweet ending for seniors

Kellen Clute, Oregon State Tight End

Last Friday’s 52-42 Civil War loss marked the end of the 2015 campaign for the Oregon State Beavers. For almost 110 players it marked the end of a lot of hard work and pain, and weeks of grueling practice, meeting and workout schedules. However, for the 13 seniors on the roster, it boasted a lot more than that. The game would mark the end of their college careers, and for many, their football careers.  

This is normal, I mean there are thousands of college football seniors around the country who either have played, or will be playing, their last college game very soon. I would argue however that none had a stranger situation than those at OSU.

At the beginning of the year it was announced that Oregon State had found its new coach after Mike Riley decided to leave for Nebraska. Gary Anderson stepped in and immediately laid down his plan, which put a big emphasis on the current seniors leading the way and “laying the foundation” for the future. A good message? Absolutely. As easy as it sounds? Not in the slightest.  

Here is where my admiration comes in for these 13 young men. Imagine walking into your place of business one day to find out that your current boss who you respect is leaving for another company. You know everything will be fine because the management has the company’s best interest in mind and will make a good hire. You know that no matter what happens, this year will be your last. When the new hire is announced you look the replacement up, find out good things and get excited about the future of your company. But that is just it, you get excited about the future, the one you won’t be a part of.  

Fast forward six months, your company is entering a new quarter and is surrounded by a lot of excitement due to the new management. Now you know and agree with the new staff, the rules and system they implemented are agreeable and will be successful. However, you don’t find success in this quarter, in fact your company has one of its worst quarters in recent history. Throughout this struggle the employees and stockholders stay positive because they see the direction the company is heading. Then on your company’s last day of the quarter they see record profits, the company performs the best it has all quarter and everyone is beyond happy. They see the potential, and the success will surely shoot the company into positive profits from here on out. Everyone is happy.

This is the situation the Oregon State 2015 seniors were put into. Their boss left, their new boss demanded they lay the foundation for the rebirth of this program. They went through one of the worst seasons in recent history. Then just like that the flip switches. The last game of the year the team erupts for the best performance of the season and shows themselves, their fans and everyone watching that this OSU program will do big things in the future. Except now for the sad ending, none of these seniors will have any tangible experience with the success. They shouldered the most responsibility, suffered loss after loss only to pass the torch right when this thing seemed bright. Sure they will watch and experience from afar the future success of the beavers, but they won’t have a piece of the pie when things get sweet.  

So I write this to the seniors, to the 13 young men who shouldered the burden for an entire program while it figured out its direction. For the 13 young men who will receive no credit for the future season’s success even though they might have been the biggest reason for it. So to them I tip my hat and offer a job well done, it’s been one hell of a ride.

On Twitter @K_Clute83

The opinions expressed by Clute do not necessairly represent those of the Daily Barometer editorial staff.

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