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The Murray State News

Senior athletes leave their final notes

Rebeca Mertins Chiodini
Senior forward Chloe Barnthouse cheers on her teammates while on the bench. Barnthouse totaled 14 goals and three assists during her time at Murray State.

As the year comes to a close, many senior athletes prepare to say goodbye to the sports they grew up loving and playing.

Murray State had many senior athletes this year, who have either stuck at Murray State the whole time, or joined as Racers later in their collegiate journey.

Jenna Veber, senior softball pitcher, said while she has never been much of a leader, she has embraced the opportunities presented to her in her senior season on the softball team.

“Being a senior this year and having half of a new Racer Softball team has been an incredibly gratifying experience for me,” Veber said. “Initially, I was nervous helping lead a group of unfamiliar girls. Stepping into a leadership role can be scary, especially when unsure of how they’ll respond. Fortunately, I quickly realized that this group would be some of the most genuine, hardworking, and gritty teammates I’ve ever played with.”

Chloe Barnthouse, senior soccer forward, said she has learned a lot as a senior this year, but being a mentor was a big task. She said she has been focusing on teaching the new players that life as an athlete is more than just what happens on the field.

“Being a senior gives me a lot of experience and it gives me the ability to mentor the players around me,” Barnthouse said. “Throughout the years, I’ve learned that the game is bigger than what is done on the field and the core of the game is the relationships you make with your teammates. Players come and go but the friendships made are something that will last a lifetime.”

Meanwhile, Morgan Parker, senior midfielder of the soccer team, had a different path to being a senior at Murray State, transferring in from Western Michigan University for her junior season. She said Murray State taught her to value the friendships made along the way.

“At Murray State, I have learned that there is more to life than just being an athlete in your sport, “Parker said. “I will take with me the friendships and connections that I have made with my time here.”

As athletes, plenty of memories stick out from your time in college. Parker, Barnthouse and Veber all shared some some of their favorite memories from Murray State, each with their own bit of sentimental value.

Parker said she will remember the soccer teams’ run to the MVC Championship game in 2022 in just her first year at Murray State. Barnthouse reminisced on the Racers’ game winning goal in overtime against UT Martin her freshman year, and the rush of emotion that came with that moment.

Veber discussed the many friendships she has made along the way and how they have affected her life, but pointed out that her favorite memory was winning the OVC championship in 2022 and said the atmosphere of the moment was something she will never forget.

Each senior also left a piece of advice for future athletes that come through Murray State, with Parker making a point that athletes should take advantage of their time at Murray State.

“Make the most of your time here because it goes by fast,” Parker said. “Also remember that you are more than just an athlete in your sport.”

Veber said the most important advice she learned is to not settle for being perfect and leave yourself room to grow.

“It took me almost 5 years to learn that I didn’t want to be perfect at my sport,” Veber said. 

“Being perfect meant I was stagnant. I couldn’t allow myself opportunities for growth because I was too focused on what I did wrong instead of how to fix it. This unattainable strive for perfection created stress and unhappiness. Allow yourself the ability to be open minded about learning and that your ability to play the sport is enough. Strive for progress and effort and do everything with intention. “

Barnthouse left a few pieces of advice for incoming students. She said building a disciplined routine, such as waking up early and giving it your all, can make someone the best athlete. 

“Nothing is going to come easy, you need to wake up and want to work everyday for it,” Barnthouse said. “Coaches will teach you soccer, but the will, drive and energy is something you need to bring. It is a privilege to be in the position you are in today, enjoy every second of it and play like you were a little kid.”

Finally, Barnthouse left a piece of advice about enjoying your time as a college student. She said being a student athlete is a gift that athletes need to appreciate everyday.

“Life is what you make it, and we need to enjoy every day and every time we step out on the field,” Barnthouse said. “It is truly a gift to be able to play the sport you love.”


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About the Contributors
Jakob Milani
Jakob Milani, Sports Editor
Jakob Milani is all about sports. He joined the staff of The Murray State News in 2020 as a sports writer, assigned to women's basketball, and by fall 2021 was named Sports Editor. He is a dedicated lover of all things Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears related, and loves to talk about all things sports. He is a co-host of "The Iron Grid" podcast with fellow sports writer Ronan Summers, and only ever watches ESPN in his down time. Aside from sports, Jakob also has a passion for music and baking. His favorite artists include Nirvana, Travis Scott, and Queen. His favorite item to bake is cheesecake.
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini, Photography Editor
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini began photographing for The News in fall 2022 and began Photo Editor in 2023. She loves to photograph all things sports, but especially baseball. A journalism major, she minors in Spanish and Photography.

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