FALCONER – The electricity in the air was paramount as Falconer Central School’s gymnasium held a basketball game that was greater than a victory or defeat.
If you ask a high school athlete, they’d often say that a parent’s support with athletics and academics is crucial towards their future success.
This statement was evident when the Falconer Varsity Basketball seniors and their parents strolled towards the half-court circle before tip-off against Ellicottville.
Brian Binkley, Hannah’s father, said her high school days are a time he’ll always cherish.
“Just watching her grow up, not just physically, but also as a leader and becoming a person she wants to be in terms of making the right decisions and following through on things and working hard,” Binkley said.
Girls Varsity Coach Emily Scholeno said Senior Night is all about rewarding the seniors for their dedication and paying homage to a supportive community.
“The friendship and the team, it’s one of the longest seasons we have to stay inside,” Scholeno said. “We are going through vacations, (and) they see each other at Thanksgiving; they see each other at Christmas.”
“It’s just a different type of bond in my opinion.”
Falconer Superintendent Steve Penhollow said it’s been a tough time for the community as two separate fires within a year ravaged the buildings on West Main Street. The superintendent, however, said Senior Night shows that sports teaches valuable lessons.
“You’re not going to win everything, but you sure try each and every time,” Penhollow said. “I think that’s the lesson we teach our kids. Perseverance. Hard work.”
“You get back up when you get knocked down.”
Senior Night also coincided with Hoops for Hospice, an annual fundraiser that donates all game profits to various cancer organizations throughout the region. This year, the profits were made in the memory of Rosemary Billquist, a Sherman woman who was killed in a hunting incident.
Reporters Justin Gould, Ryan Hedrick and Matt Hummel contributed to this report.