TBy Christopher Carillo ‘19
The third annual Sophomore Spirit Day kicked off this past Friday, October 14 as the Class of 2019 gathered in the AAC for an enjoyable day of games, reflection, and prayer. The day began with a speech given by Mr. Salvatore Garofalo ‘08 addressing what the sophomores should expect throughout the day. Each homeroom would rotate among four different activities: ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, European handball, and a talk given by Chaminade alumnus Kevin McDermott ’05.
In order to accommodate the frisbee and handball games the sophomores enjoyed during the day, Ott Field was split into three different sections. Opposing homerooms fiercely battled for victory in these games as each matchup would go down to the wire. Frisbees were thrown from end zone to end zone and balls were ripped into nets as students did everything they could to score. Meanwhile, in the AAC, intense dodgeball matches had students ducking, diving, and dodging as they competed for the ultimate bragging rights as homeroom champions.
In Hearst Auditorium, Mr. Kevin McDermott shared the story of his transition from high school to college. He highlighted how implementing a regimented agenda for his daily life aided him in this change. While at Chaminade, Mr. McDermott was a star track runner, attaining notable achievements like winning state championships and taking third place in the national championship. After high school, he ran at Duke University, while still maintaining good grades thanks to his organization. Unfortunately, Mr. McDermott’s life was suddenly altered when a pool accident left him paralyzed with a 2% chance of ever being able to move anything below his neck ever again. Despite the hardships and obstacles that Kevin had to face, he persevered, spending hours each morning doing physical therapy, all the while never losing hope. Today, not only can Mr. McDermott move his arms around freely, but also he can move around on a walker. This truly inspiring story not only taught the sophomores about perseverance, but also demonstrated how the lessons that Mr. McDermott took from Chaminade changed his life.
After intense competition and an inspirational discussion, the sophomores indulged in pizza and chips. From there, an intense game of tug-of-war was played between homerooms. Students struggled to pull the rope to their side and claim victory. After many hard fought matches, homeroom 2D came out on top. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the faculty challenged homeroom 2D to a match. Despite their efforts, the faculty team lost to the 2D Dream Team. Homeroom 2D was rewarded with a trophy for their success after a long day of competition.
Following the awards ceremony, the sophomores made their way to Darby Auditorium for additional talks and prayer. Leading up to Sophomore Spirit Day, the sophomore division participated in the Sophomore Spirit Drive. During the drive, the sophomores collected nearly $2,000 to assist the students and staff of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who are rebuilding from the recent floods. The principal and president of Catholic High School expressed their gratitude to the sophomores by sending a video thanking all of the students for donating money to help them recover from recent flash floods affecting the area.
After the video, Mr. Christopher Lynch ‘82 gave a heart-warming talk about his recent battles with stomach cancer. He shared with the students many lessons he learned both during his Chaminade career and his struggles in recovery. Mr. Lynch said that the friendships the students make at Chaminade last a lifetime. He went on to say that the sophomores should enjoy each and every day, put best by his mother’s expression, “God gave you the gift of life, your gift back to God is what you do with your life.” Finally, Mr. Lynch thanked the students for all of the cards and support that strengthened him during the difficult past seven months.
Mr. Lynch’s emotional talk led into a speech by Mr. Daniel Terzulli about not taking things for granted. He explained that something unimportant to a person can mean the world to someone else. Finally, the sophomore class took time to reflect in prayer and Adoration. The students prayed together while listening to peaceful music.
Sophomore Spirit Day was a very socially and spiritually fulfilling day that the sophomores will not soon forget. Friendships were strengthened and good memories were made. This one stress-free day enjoyed by the sophomores will go down as a high point in their memories of the school, ranking among fun traditions like the senior Disney trip, and various other evenings of recollection.