Getting into the Spirit: Sophomores Substitute iPads for Dodgeballs at Annual Sophomore Spirit Day

Fortes in Unitate: The Class of 2021 gathers for a group photo in the Activity-Athletic Center.

By Jack Sadler ‘21

On Friday, October 19th, the Class of 2021 participated in one of the most anticipated events of sophomore year, Sophomore Spirit Day.  The program was an opportunity to take a step back from rigorous studies and, instead, spend the day having fun with and getting to know one’s classmates.  However, Sophomore Spirit Day is more than just an ordinary field day. As Dr. Kotsovolos stated in his opening address to the class, “The purpose of today is to celebrate your commonalities rather than your differences.”  Sophomore Spirit Day helped students form deeper bonds with their classmates and reiterated the underlying value and uniqueness of sophomore year.

Dr. K energizes the crowd at the beginning of the day’s events.

Upon entering the front door of 340 Jackson Ave, the sophomore division exuded a palpable excitement.  The members of the Class of 2021 were permitted to wear casual clothes during the day for the first time in their Chaminade careers with most students sporting jerseys of their favorite teams or athletes, adding to the exhilarating buzz of enthusiasm in sophomore homerooms.  The day officially began with an opening speech delivered by Dr. Kotsovolos in the Activity-Athletic Center. He explained that today was a reminder to stay focused during sophomore year and not become lazy or dissatisfied even if this year may not be as “special” as freshman year.

Michael Suozzi ’21 gets ready to launch his homeroom to victory.

 The students then headed out to Ott Field for homeroom competitions. The field was divided to accommodate games of European handball and ultimate frisbee, while the AAC was the venue for dodgeball competitions.  Members of the senior class served as referees and assisted in the day’s activities. Although a competitive spirit among homerooms permeated the games, this enthusiastic competition did not erode the fun of the games.  Before lunch, students also listened to a faith talk given by Mr. Lynch, a cancer survivor. His talk focused on overcoming life’s challenges and being able to rise above unseen and difficult situations that require commitment and perseverance.

Mr. Lynch ’82 delivers a faith talk about overcoming obstacles to the sophomores.

Joe Sferrazza ‘21 reflected on Mr. Lynch’s uplifting story, saying, “It’s really amazing to see someone who has been through so much come to school everyday with a smile.  His story is truly inspirational.”

After the morning activities, everyone returned to the AAC for lunch.  Chicken sandwiches were on the menu and a class photo captured the literal and figurative unity of the division.  Following lunch and the photo, homerooms engaged in a tug-of-war tournament. Eighteen members from each homeroom were selected as competitors. As more and more homerooms were eliminated, the energy and ambition of the remaining teams heightened.  Once tug-of-war concluded, one member from each homeroom was selected to participate in a half-court and three-pointer-shooting contests. After tallying the points earned by each homeroom, Homeroom 2G walked away with the Sophomore Spirit Day. A combination of cheers and some good-natured heckling exploded through the gym as members of the winning homeroom claimed the prize.

The day ended with a faith talk delivered by Mr. Volpe.  He described the importance of constant communication with God by speaking and listening to Him.  A period of Eucharist Adoration around the Blessed Sacrament followed Mr. Volpe’s memorable speech.  To the delight of the entire congregation, Mr. Volpe sang the “Salve Regina.”

The sophomores take a break from the games for time with Jesus

Alex Klimek ‘21 commented on the importance of ending the day with prayer, saying, “We always need to put in time for Jesus.  Incorporating Him into activities helps me remember that He is the one who gave us this opportunity.”

The competition rages as Jack Mackay, ‘21, lines up a shot in European handball.

Sophomore Spirit Day was an entertaining experience for the students and a terrific way to take a break from the everyday classroom grind.  It also served as a reminder for sophomores to continue to be excited about school every morning even after the new adventures of freshman year wore off and avoid a feeling of complacency that can stem from last year’s successes. Mike Santos ‘21 summed up the day perfectly, exclaiming, “Spirit Day is important because it gives us the chance to grow closer with the guys in our homeroom.  Also, like Dr. K said, it helps us remember that sophomore year can be exciting too.” For the whole Class of 2021, this day will be remembered as one of the many highlights of their Chaminade experience.