JM Rieger, Staff Writer

As the school year comes to a close, this also means the end of Miami athletics for the 2009-10 school year. Often one of the most overlooked parts of a team can be the impact that seniors have, both directly and indirectly. Here is a look at a few of the seniors’ careers and contributions.

The fall semester opened up with Miami football, and although this year’s squad was much younger than past year’s teams, the seniors still played a major role. One of the faces of the senior class in football was senior quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh. Although Raudabaugh only played in four games this year, he finished his career with a 56 percent completion percentage and had over 5,000 yards passing to go with 29 touchdowns in 30 games played. He also helped to mentor redshirt freshman quarterback Zac Dysert who will likely be the starter for the next few years at Miami.

Another standout senior for the RedHawks was senior punter Chris DiCesare who had 48 punts on the year with a long punt of 56 yards.

Meanwhile, the men’s cross country team will lose two standout runners this year in Paul Krebs and Kevin Silver, both of whom finished on the Mid-American Conference (MAC) All-Academic Team and who ran well throughout the season for the Red and White. On the women’s side, the cross country team will lose seniors Kelsey McHugh and Amanda Mirochna, both of whom were also named to the MAC All-Academic Team.

In women’s volleyball, senior middle Megan Griffin and senior setter Andrea Atteberry led the way for this year’s team. Both were four-year starters and Griffin finished the year with over 1,000 kills.

Two of the senior leaders for this year’s hockey team were senior forward Gary Steffes and senior forward Jarod Palmer. Palmer never missed a game in his RedHawk career and came up with huge plays in clutch moments for the Red and White. Meanwhile, Steffes played great all-around hockey for Miami, making his presence felt on the ice with big hits in key moments.

The three seniors on this year’s men’s basketball team were senior guard Michael Aluise, who was a walk on this past year, senior center Adam Fletcher and senior guard Kenny Hayes. Fletcher and Hayes both played a strong game for Miami this year. Hayes led the team in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game, while Fletcher averaged 6.6 points per game to go with 4.5 rebounds per game.

“Adam (Fletcher) brought a lot of energy to the team, he was a great communicator on the floor and he was a good defender,” Head Coach Charlie Coles said. “He was the best post defender in the league and he was a good leader for the team.”

On the other hand, Kenny Hayes was the spotlight of this year’s squad and had a great senior season to finish out his career at Miami.

“(Hayes) had a great impact on the program and he was a great player,” Coles said. “He was a terrific guy to coach. He loved to play the game and compete and he always came to practice ready to work. He is one of the best players that I have had the opportunity to coach here at Miami.”

And finally, the end of the spring semester meant that softball was back. Six seniors, including senior shortstop Sarah Billstrom, senior outfielder Alicia Hogl and senior pitcher Meredith Linch, led this year’s team. Each of them has been a four-year starter for the RedHawks and each has played very well this year. Billstrom has been a dominant offensive force this year with Hogl, while Linch is having her best season on the mound this year.

“(These seniors) have helped grow the program into what it has become,” Head Coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. “They shaped the standards that will be left behind when they graduate and we cannot thank them enough for that. This entire group of seniors showed tremendous commitment and loyalty throughout their four years and will be missed, but they have left the program better than they found it.”

The Miami Student would like to thank all of the seniors for their hard work and dedication to Miami athletics and wishes them nothing but the best in the future.