There are graduations, and then, there are graduations.
Each one is special and each one is remembered by those who participated and those who attended.
But none will ever be as special as the one held this past Saturday morning on the baseball diamond at Radford University.
When Dr. Travis Burns announced toward the closing of ceremonies within the high school that diplomas had been awarded that morning to the seniors from Northumberland, the news was received with a loud and hard round of applause.
Apparently, this special ceremony had been in the making for several days. But as Coach Johnny Mothershead said, “We didn’t make a big deal of it so Friday’s (semi-final) game wouldn’t be jinxed.”
Also apparently, Radford University makes plans for such a possibility and supports it in every way. So at 9:50, the six graduating Northumberland seniors lined up at home plate, dressed in battle gear for the upcoming game, wearing caps and gowns over their uniforms.
Vice Principal Maggie Massie officiated.
“It was my last official duty for the high school.”
She has taken a job in the Richmond area, starting this week.
Not only did the students get their diplomas in front of parents and fans, they got their gold tassels and GPA medallions. Included in that was Brandon Walker’s gold honors medallion for maintaining a 4.0 plus GPA. Massie said all parents were present for the graduation.
Brandon Walker had the following to say about both the graduation exercise and the game.
“It was pretty incredible. I’ve dreamed about graduating and winning the state championship since I was a little boy. To do both the same day is all a high school baseball player could ask for.”
—See the full story in the June 18 edition of the Northumberland Echo!