Shen seniors choose prom over state championships

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A group of softball-playing seniors from Shenendehowa is choosing the prom over the state championship weekend.

Shenendehowa won the sectionals this year.

They play Friday against North Rockland in the New York State Semi-Finals. The game is on Long Island in Moriches.

Six out of seven seniors will not be playing in the game – including Kelsey Higgins, one of the best players in Section II.

If the team wins its game on Friday, it would play in the championship game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The players were given the option to go to the prom late, but they chose not to. They’d rather skip the game than miss the dance.

“I’ve never experienced this in 16 years,” said Chris Cullnan, the athletic director at Shenendehowa. “We’ve had teams that have changed in the parking lot to get to prom. We’ve had teams that our principal has held the door open until 8:30, so kids could get to the prom and be able to go.”

The players wanted to still play in the Friday semi-final, but said they would not play in the championship if they won. The school did not agree with that plan, saying the players needed to be available for both games or not at all.

“I think the students are living in the moment. I think they see this as sort of like, you know, a big moment for them with the prom and I understand that, but with the idea of trying to win a state championship is something that you have for the rest of your life,” he continued.

The school district issued a statement Thursday morning saying, the coach “has taken the necessary steps to field a competitive team for the upcoming championship game. We wish all the student-athletes the very best.”

NewsChannel 13 has reached out to the players’ families. They have not responded to our requests for comment.