REED CITY — Hours before they were to receive their diplomas on Friday, Reed City High School seniors were sent out in style during the annual Senior Sendoff

The 97 soon-to-be graduates, some with colorful, personalized mortarboards were joined by their fellow RCHS students, along with several parents and siblings.

RCHS Principal Monty Price expressed his enthusiasm to the seniors.

"It's a great day to be a Coyote," he said. "I am so proud of all of your accomplishments. Job well done."

National Honor Society students received their graduation stoles, while other seniors were presented with awards and recognition.

Students enlisting in the armed forces also were recognized.

Senior speaker Meghan Borst gave a small speech to her classmates about the future.

"As the years have gone by, we've gone through the same routine for 12 years," she said.

She spoke about the growing anticipation she and her fellow seniors felt four years ago when they were freshmen, and then counted down the last first day of school, their last winter break, prom and then, graduation.

"Finally, it's time for the Class of 2017 to break free," she said. "We will be starting new routines. Whether you're going to college, going into the workforce, taking a year off or joining the military, the world is so wide and open for us. Be sure to choose the path that suites you, but does not define you."

Borst, along with Logan Straub, also were named RCHS Athletes of the Year.

To finish the sendoff, the seniors walked through the tunnel of teachers to receive hugs, congratulatory high-fives and words of encouragement.