Summit High football’s departing players give thanks on Senior Night

Seven Summit High football seniors said goodbye to the program during Friday evening’s loss to Palisade.

Per tradition established under third-year head coach John Shirkey, the collection of Tiger seniors hand-wrote notes of gratitude to their family, friends and members of the Tiger football community.

At halftime of the Tigers (3-7, 2-3 3A Western Slope League) 43-0 loss to the Bulldogs (9-1, 5-0), the team assembled at midfield while parents and family members accompanied each senior individually —each group walking on the 50-yard-line while the PA announcer read aloud each senior’s message.

No matter how long each teammate has been playing the game of football — for 11 years like senior captain quarterback Brendan Collins, or just two like senior captain wide receiver Max Duxbury — the Tigers were heartfelt in their messages.

Senior captain offensive and defensive lineman Taylor Morgan played football for nine years, his father Gary always reminding him how important it was to give his all whenever between the lines of competition.

“I have loved every second of it,” Morgan wrote. “Being able to learn from so many great coaches and my teammates. I’m going to miss playing for Summit and this team.”

Summit senior captain Trice Scroggins wrote that football has given him some of the greatest friendships, lessons and experiences of his life.

“I am sad this chapter of my life is over,” Scroggins wrote, “but I am very excited for what the future holds.”

Their fellow senior captain Angel Arredondo, a Tigers linebacker and wide receiver, thanked his parents Jose and Alma for always allowing him to chase his dreams, whether it was football for Summit or little league baseball.

“I am forever thankful for everything you’ve given me and hope to one day be able to repay you,” he wrote. “I love you guys and thank you for leading me on the right path.”

Collins, the team’s quarterback and another senior captain, thanked his mother Katherine, father George, and brother and fellow teammate Aidan for supporting him through his 11-year football career. The Collins brothers grew up playing catch together, and Brendan mentioned the nostalgia of that brotherly connection in his letter. It had special meaning now that his younger brother and freshman was a wide receiver this year on the other end of his passes.

“You guys have had my back every step of the way,” Collins wrote. “I appreciate you two coming to all of my games and being my biggest fans.”

The captain, Duxbury, was thankful for being able to learn football the past two years “from some of the greatest.”

“The coaches and players have forever changed who I have become,” Duxbury added, “and I am extremely grateful for that.”

Tigers lineman Uriel “Dozer” Mendoza described playing football for the Tigers as “the highlight of my high school years.”

“It created a new family for me and my teammates,” Mendoza wrote. “I will always remember all of you.”

Wide receiver Kevin Leyva thanked his parents, Kevin Sr. and Noe, and the Tigers coaches.

“For helping me grow as a person,” he wrote. “It’s been a great year of football. Go Tigers!”

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