SBy Thomas Daly ’18
Sophomore year is tough. With a challenging course load, students must perform an astonishing balancing act of academics, sports and extracurriculars. Unlike junior and senior years which include a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure and Disney World respectively to strengthen the bonds between students, sophomore year is a straight eight-month race to comprehensive examinations. Last year, sophomores had a fun day of camaraderie and relaxation built into the calendar; that day was Sophomore Spirit Day. This year, Sophomore Spirit Day solidified itself as a Chaminade tradition. On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, the sophomores ditched their backpacks and books and replaced them with dodge balls and frisbees for the exciting event.
To start the day, the sophomore class listened to a quick preview of what the day would bring from Mr. Salvatore Garofalo ’08, the sophomore divisional coordinator and organizer of the event. He explained the theme of the day was CPR: Class Spirit, Personal Spirit, and Religious Spirit. Although the sophomores were not in health class, they would still work on their “CPR” skills with a day consisting of presentations by guest speakers, field events, Eucharistic Adoration and lunch.
Shortly after, Mr. Michael Yatco ’02 delivered a short speech about his extracurricular activities and interests during high school. He told the sophomores about his track experiences at Chaminade and his continuation of the sport at the College of the Holy Cross. He concluded his presentation by telling the class not to fall into the status quo of the sophomore slump and to continue to push themselves.
“I liked Mr. Yatco’s speech,” said Joel Thomas ‘18. “It really gave me an idea of how to improve myself sophomore year.”
Following Mr. Yatco’s speech, most homerooms split up to participate in various field activities while homerooms 2A, 2B, and 2C went to Hearst Auditorium in Chaminade’s Activity-Athletic Center to hear from another guest speaker, Mr. Kevin McDermott ’05. He told the story of how he went from being one of the best runners in the country at Chaminade and then at Duke University to being paralyzed from the neck down after jumping into a pool and fracturing one of his vertebrae. After his touching speech, Mr. McDermott demonstrated his progress in regaining his ability to walk. Leaving Hearst Auditorium after having heard a life-changing story, the students had a new appreciation for their God-given gifts as they proceeded to the field events.
Homerooms then proceeded to rotate between Mr. McDermott’s speech and three different field events. Sophomores participated in dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and European handball in the AAC, Ott Field, and Faerber Field respectively.
“I really enjoyed ultimate frisbee as a sneak peek into senior intramurals,” said Nathan Deguzman ’18.
After a tiring morning, the sophomores headed back towards the AAC to eat a delicious lunch of a spicy chicken hero, a bag of chips, and a choice of PowerAde, water, or soda. The sophomores ate quickly and enjoyed time relaxing and conversing with their classmates.
After satisfying their hunger and posing for a sophomore class photo, it was time for the favorite event of the day, tug-of-war. Eighteen sophomores represented each homeroom as they worked together in an effort to pull the other team past a yellow floor marker. With burns on their hands and sweat on their brows, the 2H Harpooners claimed victory. With this win, the Harpooners overall efforts during the day earned them the Sophomore Spirit Day trophy which will be proudly displayed in their homeroom for the rest of the year.
The sophomores continued their fun-filled day in Darby Auditorium with a special presentation by a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Mrs.Terri Zenobio. Sophomore GSO had been working with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul during the previous week organizing a men’s business clothing drive. Mrs. Zenobio, representing St. Vincent de Paul’s, gave a short speech about the work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and showed a brief video showing the fruits of the students’ donations.
Shortly after Mrs. Zenobio’s presentation, Eucharistic Adoration was led by Fr. Garrett Long S.M. ’62. During Adoration, Mr. Michael McCarthy spoke to the sophomores. He asked the class to branch out to different clubs and opportunities that might interest them, especially those that utilize their God-given talents. He said to “shed your labels” of being one-dimensional and to perform and excel with all their special and unique talents.
“I thought the day went extremely well,” said Mr. Garofalo, after a satisfying day. “I think this will be a guiding light for the sophomores as they continue with the school year. I am especially grateful with the spirit shown by the sophomores both during the St. Vincent de Paul clothing drive and today during Sophomore Spirit Day.”
As the sophomores returned to their lockers at the end of the day, they left the event with a newfound enthusiasm for sophomore year and the challenges that lie ahead in their Chaminade careers.