Athens Drive Senior Night


Photos by Mariah Hatcher

Paris Webster, standing with her family on senior night, against Broughton.

Senior night is memorable for many athletes, including Paris Webster, basketball player. Webster has been on the team for 4 years.
“It feels great knowing that I can come out and bring the energy and get us up and it’s just good,” said Webster.
Webster knows she can hype up the team, which possibly contributes to them having such a strong bond. The Athens Drive Women’s Varsity basketball team is a very close team; they like to make videos together.
“It’s been good, it’s been an experience, like just growing as a player, as an athlete, and just building bonds with people I’ll have for a lifetime, it’s been great,” said Webster.
Webster has grown with her team, and there’s nowhere to go but up from now. Webster is leaving this year, so she intends to make the most of the remainder of her season.
“I have mixed emotions; I’m happy to see what the future holds, and to get started, and my career. I’m also sad, you know, walking these hallways, seeing the people everyday, I feel good though,” said Webster.
For Webster, leaving is a good and bad thing because on one side there’s new beginnings, however on the other she’s leaving things behind. Webster is committed to play for the University of South Carolina Aiken in Aiken, South Carolina.

“I really like the seniors, I enjoyed working with them, they’re really good people and really good basketball players,” said Micheal Burgess, basketball coach.
Burgess explains that the seniors are positive. Burgess really enjoys coaching women’s basketball, as he used to men’s basketball play himself.
“Not much, the game is just about the fundamentals, and I really think Coach Stephenson does a really good job at mixing things up in practice and bringing up a lot of creative drills. Practice is never boring, I wouldn’t really say much,” said Burgess.
“Playing basketball for Athens Drive has been a great experience, learning. St. John has been my coach, taught me how to mature, as a man. Strictly because, all 4 years I played varsity, so I had to mature from a freshman to a senior playing with St. John. It was fun playing with the guys and I love most of those guys, I went to middle school with them so it was a great experience,” said Dynaven Lyons, senior.
For Lyons, playing basketball has been as great on the outside as it’s been on the inside, it’s been a learning experience for him.
“Being on the basketball team is how I met most of my friends, it’s how I met most of my friends now. They’re really my brothers, without the basketball team I wouldn’t have my friends. I hang out with them outside [of basketball],” said Lyons.
It’s safe to say that basketball has positively impacted Dynaven social life, it’s where he’s met his friends in which he refers to as his brothers. “It’s definitely hard having practices on weekends. But it’s still fun,” said Lyons.
“I feel really sad, it’s kind of frustrating. If I could spend another year here I would. Most of my friends are here, it’s just a great experience, learning experience,” said Lyons.
Lyons doesn’t want to leave, but all things must come to an end.
“The season overall, it was pretty decent, I mean it wasn’t terrible, we were 11 in 13. But like I said we just had to put in more work, and just play harder, we definitely could’ve won a lot of games we lost,” said Lyons.
Dynaven believes that if they had just worked hard and played harder they could have won a lot more games than they did.
“We stay true to who we are as a program with the same philosophy on defense and spreading the floor on offense. Each year you tweak the system to fit the players you have, but essentially at the root it’s the same. Our biggest change this season was to run more set plays to achieve better balance on the offensive end,” said St. John.
St. John often changes things as to having new players, whether they are slight or significant.
“Our seniors accomplished a great deal while here at Athens. They were conference champs and made the state playoffs in consecutive seasons. It is always sad to see them go, but I’m excited for them and their futures outside of Athens,” said St. John.
The seniors have made lots of accomplishments throughout their time at Athens Drive.
“Each senior has improved, but I think Caleb Lynch has improved the most. He didn’t play a lot last season. He earned a starting position this year and played significant minutes. If a game caused us to play different line-up, he was usually the first off the bench,” said St. John.