Argyle baseball players get special graduation ceremony

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Courtesy photo
Monte Borders/Courtesy photo
A special graduation ceremony was held Friday for eight Argyle High School seniors who were competing in the Class 3A state baseball tournament when Argyle High held its commencement exercises Wednesday at the University of North Texas Coliseum.

Graduating high school is a big milestone.

It’s something Argyle High School went out of its way to make sure eight graduating players who competed in the Class 3A state baseball tournament in Austin last week didn’t miss. A special afternoon graduation ceremony was held Friday in the high school auditorium for the players, who weren’t able to attend the high school’s originally slated graduation ceremony on Wednesday. The Argyle Eagles were defeated by College Station 5-2 in the state championship game Thursday.

“I don’t want any kid to miss graduation because of something they’re doing for our school,” Principal Jeff Butts said. “I felt like we owed them that, to be honest.

“I really just thought that’s what you’re supposed to do. I just know we owed it to our kids.”

Upon learning the Friday prior to the Wednesday’s graduation that the high school baseball team would be playing in the state tournament, officials at Argyle High began planning for a second graduation to be conducted for seniors from the team on Friday.

Butts, who had a child graduate high school this year, said graduation is equally important to families.

“I don’t know how important this was for these kids, but I do know from a parent’s perspective how important it is to go to your kid’s graduation ceremony,” he said. “I just know it’s an important, emotional time.”

Once things were completed for Wednesday’s graduation, school staff members the following day began preparing the program for the players’ graduation.

It’s the first graduation ceremony to ever be conducted in the high school auditorium, mainly because school officials say the venue has been too small to accommodate guests for an entire graduating class.

According to Butts, approximately 200 people attended the special Friday graduation. The high school attempted to simulate most of what was done at its Wednesday ceremony, he said.

Two of the eight graduates were called upon to do the invocation and welcome at the ceremony, the high school choir performed, and in the place of the valedictorian address, radio personality George Dunham served as speaker for the ceremony. Following the speech was the certification of graduates and the diploma presentation, done by school administrators and district board members.

Parker Mushinski said he just assumed the high school would mail him his diploma. For the district to support him and his fellow baseball “brothers” and put together a ceremony just for them was “pretty sweet.”

“It means a lot,” he said.

Echoing Mushinski’s sentiments was Brandon Boyzuick, who said it meant so much to him and his teammates who missed graduation to all graduate together and “finish high school off right.”

“It was really emotional for us all,” he said. “It honestly could have been the last time we stepped foot in that high school.

“It was really emotional, not only for us but for our families.”

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

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