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98 Kingston High School seniors celebrate upcoming graduation with a Mariners game

Kingston High School
Kingston High School's Class of 2011 enjoyed a Seattle Mariners game June 1; the students were recognized on the scoreboard in the fourth inning.
— image credit: Stephanie Fyfe

Play ball — or hooky.

That’s just what Kingston High School’s Class of 2011 did. On June 1, almost 100 Buccaneer seniors skipped school to attend the Mariners vs. Orioles game at Safeco Field. One event invite addressed to 164 KHS seniors on Facebook resulted in 98 Buccaneers joining together to cheer on their home team together one last time.

Although the weather was not the ideal "sunny-baseball-game-with-beach-barbecue-afterward" weather that was hoped for, the students huddled together under the familiar overcast skies of Seattle and cheered on their team. The M’s, who had beaten the Orioles 4-3 and 3-2 the previous two days, lost 2-1 but that didn’t seem to worry the students.

“I think for the most part our class didn’t care whether or not we won or lost because, in spite of the weather and the loss, we were all there for our last hurrah as the senior class of 2011 and that’s all that mattered to us,” senior Shane Pruett said.

Organizing such a huge event for an entire class was a big responsibility for one person to take on, but senior Curtis Wildung was the one who made it all happen.

“Well, I love baseball and thought that Mariners games were fun for anyone, regardless if they loved baseball or not," he said. "Plus, if people wanted to hang out in Seattle afterwards they could.”

Wildung collected money for the tickets and ordered them online. “I told everyone that we were going to a Mariners game and had everyone [that wanted to go] sign up. The next week, I started collecting money and when I got a majority of the money I called Safeco, ordered all of them, and they were all delivered within the week.”

Students paid $10 per ticket and sat together in one section, armed with signs and spirit.

The students that attended the game were very thankful for Wildung’s hard work and dedication at making their Senior Skip Day one to remember.

“I heard about Senior Skip Day from some of my friends and, as word spread, more and more seniors started to sign up and it became a huge event," senior Renee Henderson said. "It was really fun to do something fun for Senior Skip Day that was organized and planned ahead of time. About half of the senior class attended the game and it was a really fun way to hang out with all of my friends.”

Another classmate, Deven Rood, added, "Having Curtis organize such a huge event with all of our classmates was an amazing thing. Being at the Mariners game with all my friends will be a day I’ll never forget.”

The Kingston High School Class of 2011 — the first class to attend all four years of high school at the school — has made its mark. Being different is what this class is all about: Never wanting to fit in, but to stand out and be remembered for starting something huge like a new chant at boys basketball games in the winter or taking nearly a hundred students to Seattle and chuckling while underclassmen sat in school waiting for it to be their turn.

“We wanted to be known for something cooler than every other year,” senior Josh Herrera said.

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