Field Day tradition continues with class of 2013

Senior Taylor Smith kicks for her team on field day during their kick ball game. Her team, standing behind her, watches and cheers her on.

As the clock struck 11:30, seniors were finished their exams and were ready to have some fun. The seniors changed into their team outfits, and emerged onto the fields ready to win. The spirit of the class of 2013 was demonstrated through their exuberant and creative costumes with themes such as red, white, and blue, tie dye, Indians, Hawaiian, camouflage, and more as they celebrate the 7th annual Field Day.

Field Day has been a JC tradition since 2007, making it a fairly new addition to senior year and school spirit. It is a chance for the whole senior class to partake in friendly competition.

Every type of person, from jock to artist, gets a chance to play games such a flag football and ultimate Frisbee with the rest of their class, bringing them together one last time before graduation.

The teams are set up by the captains of each team in a draft much like the NFL draft. After they pick their teams, the captains decide on a theme their team will dress to. Each senior is then notified which team they are on, and the process of picking teams is complete.

“I think that Field Day was a great opportunity for our class to come together one last time before graduation. No team was stacked with best friends, everyone was very evenly distributed throughout the teams, so it really united everyone even if they were not friends before Field Day,” senior Mackenzie Rayburn said.

The rules of Field Day are not specific, just to be safe and have fun. The obvious ideas that no student should be disrespectful come into place, and other rules are placed to ensure that every student is safe and having fun on the special day for the senior class.

“The class of ’07 was a pretty unique class. There were 242 students, and they had the most school spirit that I can recall in the past years,” SAC moderator Rodney Johnson said.

Over the class of 2007’s years at JC, they had done many fundraisers and activities that helped others and brought awareness to issues. They created a lacrosse tournament that donated the tournament’s money to malaria research. The ’07 class also created a Battle of the Bands with bands from JC, and they also spent time at John Archer during Christmas to bring joy and presents to the children with disabilities.

As their last hurrah before graduation, they were looking for something out of the ordinary to do. Shortly after, the idea of Field Day was brought up.

Johnson created a Field Day proposal in the spring of 2007 which stated, “A field day would be an opportunity to have the seniors come together through athletics. This would be an all-inclusive event for all seniors. Many seniors are involved in a myriad of activities—sports, drama, and other clubs. This would be a chance for the seniors to bond as a group, and generate good will towards the school. With all the emphasis on ‘tradition,’ this is a chance to start a new one. This would also give the underclassmen something to look forward to.”

Since 2007, Field Day has taken a “life of its own,” according to Johnson. Every class has a different personality which is reflected throughout their years here, especially on Field Day.

Every year, the senior class is able to pick the games that they want to play, but they usually stay around the same such as Football, Soccer, and Kickball

“It is almost entirely driven by the students. They tell us what they want and we try to accommodate to them,” Johnson said.

Based on what the seniors want, Johnson then creates a schedule and brings in the captains to create teams. Each game the seniors play is a big team sport, not individual sports or sports with a small number of players playing at a time like tennis or basketball.

The 14 captains this year, Scott Strapelli, Devon Ruane, Alex Gambrell, Caroline Haggerty, Fiona McGann, Morgan Jones, Kyleigh Daiyker, Jen Kries, Bryan Doherty, Emily Clarke, Caleb Anderson, Rosie Sedney, Nathan Barringer, and Hannah Jacques were either an SAC or class officer or decided they wanted to lead one of the teams. Each captain had to attend two meetings to draft players and create the teams.

“The process of picking players for each team was very long, but it’s good because it made sure that everyone was on a team and every team was equal in talent. We wanted everyone to be able to look back and say ‘Field Day was one of the best memories of my high school career, something I will never forget,’” senior Caroline Haggerty said.

Over the years, not much has changed with the Field Day aspect. Many of the games have stayed the same as well as the general set up. There are always four games that are all half an hour long. Some games have changed like volleyball, but most of it is the same since the very first Field Day.

“I cannot wait for senior year and all of the fun activities that come along with it. Field Day will be a great opportunity for us to come together as a class in a physical and fun environment,” junior Fiona van der Steur said.

Johnson is looking to create some new changes for next year. He is trying to move Field Day to earlier in May so there are no AP or final exam conflicts.

“I think Field Day is a good tradition for seniors at John Carroll. We may not have a Variety Show, but at least we have a field day,” Johnson said.

Meredith Haggerty is an In-Depth editor for The Patriot and