TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tonight is Senior Night for the Robert E. Lee softball team. However, what makes this particular Senior Night stand out among the others is the fact that there will only be one senior tonight.
Tori Sanchez is that lone senior, and it is pretty daunting that she will be alone for the pre-game ceremony even though she will be escorted by her parents.
“At first it was just kind of like, ‘Yay! I’m almost done.’ And now it’s like, ‘Ah, I’m almost sick, I’m almost done,'" Sanchez said. "It’s kind of gettin’ me a little sad about it now.”
Her role model ways aren’t lost on this team that starts a handful of freshman.
“Playing with Tori has been great,” said Brook Davis, one of Sanchez’ teammates. “She’s really encouraging. She’s a big leader, and she helps us all keeps us all together as a team. So I’ve really enjoyed it; it’s been great.”
Kniffen--The reason she’s here is her work ethic and her leadership," said Justin Kniffen, the coach of the Robert E. Lee softball team. “The girls really respond off of Tori, and she could have packed it up. She could have gone and packed it up and said, ‘New coach? I’m done,' and she didn’t and our freshman which we start six feed off her."
Sanchez outlasted others who would have been in her senior class, and her coach said it speaks to her willingness to ride it out and finish what she started.
“You know, when a new coach comes in and tries to rebuild, sometimes, the upperclassmen are the casualties," Kniffen said. "You’re trying to start over. She’s the lone survivor out of about five in her grade”
“Softball kind of helped me make friends,” Sanchez said. “I’ve met some of the best people in softball as I progressed to my senior year. It’s been like life-changing cause I know I’ll have friends I’ll have forever, and the biggest compliment from a freshman is, ‘My goal whenever I grow up is to be exactly like Tori.’"