By Mac Murzyn ‘24

Senior year has come and gone and it has been an emotional rollercoaster. I was excited to graduate, but at the same time, scared and sad to leave everything I have worked for over the past four years. My senior year was without a doubt, the most memorable, interesting, and stressful nine months of my life.

The summer going into my senior year was simple: football every day, working out, and hanging with friends. I made new friends and traveled the country visiting colleges. I was also named captain of the varsity football team, which was a great honor.  Everything seemed to be going well in my life and I had no complaints.

We kicked off the football season facing a top ranked Maine South team, who we defeated in a defensive shootout. Unfortunately, things would take a turn for the worse as we suffered heartbreaking losses to Marist, Nazareth, and Batavia. I never thought that I would feel so high, then feel so low, in a week’s time span in my life. However, this was only the beginning.

When the football season concluded, wrestling season was well on its way. We had almost our entire lineup returning, and we were looking forward to making some noise in Illinois. Our team traveled to Colorado, South Bend, and throughout the state of Illinois, looking for competition. Unfortunately, on December 22, I broke my left ankle in two different spots. I thought I would rehab and return to the mat within a month, but I was told it would take up to six months for it to fully heal. This devastated me. I never realized what I had until it was too late.

I try to always find a silver lining amidst adversity, and one good thing that came out of this was to visit both of my grandparents at least once a week. I made this a priority in my life.  I would have long talks with my grandpa, who served in Vietnam and played a role as a policeman during the riots for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. My grandpa passed on April 4, and I will forever cherish the time and moments we spent together.

As far as my academic career, my favorite class had to be learning about the Vietnam War in Mr. Richardson’s class. Learning that the real heroes in life were the ones who made it back home from war, and those that sacrificed their lives, really made me thankful for the life I was given. All the scandals that took place during the war, the lying, the cheating, the uncertainty that took place, sparked my interest and made me want to dive deeper into this topic.

I will never forget all the life lessons I learned from Bro. Hayes. I now know more about how the world works. Because of Bro. Hayes, every time I look out my window, I know why the sky is blue, or how lightning strikes, how heat waves work, and much more. He has passed on a desire to me to keep learning.

Although I never had them as teachers, Mr. Dolan, Coach Lyons, and Coach Gleeson are who I look up to for the most wisdom in the school. They will always have my back and can give the best advice if you need it.

Although the football losses and the wrestling injury stings, I cherish the time I had with the guys and coaches; for example, trying to beat Joey Lombardo to the weight room every morning, or going head to head, play after play with Eddie Maloney during team segments. I enjoyed live wrestling for 30 straight minutes at the end of each practice with Nick Baser, King Liggins, and Charlie Stec, and the list of memories goes on.

Looking back on my senior seasons, I realized that I should be more grateful about the good things that happened, such as how I was able to build close friendships with underclassmen Quinn Lyons, Charlie Stec, Christian Pierce, King Liggins, Diego Padron, Gavin Arnold, Marty Flynn, Jimmy Crane, and Bobby Conway. I also built close and meaningful relationships with coaches such as Coach Q, Coach Nye, and Coach Gladney. I was surprised and honored when they named me as the team MVP at the end of the season football banquet. I was able to wrestle for my dad and godfather in their final years of coaching. I will never forget wrestling in the Colorado Tournament Championship, and having my dad in my corner to not only coach me, but to be my dad and cheer me on to victory.

I’ll never forget all the best moments of being a Crusader. From beating Mount Carmel in the playoffs for football to go to the semifinals, to storming the court when beating Marist in basketball three separate times, and watching the baseball team walk IMG Academy in a thriller, it will all just be a memory from now on. I feel that Brother Rice grew me into a young man and provided me opportunities to grow in my faith, services and develop meaningful relationships with people, that if it weren’t for Brother Rice, I never would have met. Through school, I have met people around the world, including many Peruvians who I was fortunate enough to help build a house for. Some advice I give to underclassmen is enjoy the little things, and don’t sweat the small stuff. If I had a genie in the bottle and was granted one wish, I would do it all over again – in a heartbeat.