New Tradition on the Block

Field day has become a staple in the final semester of school. It gives students a break from classes, but why does it exist alongside intramurals? The school is strict about missing class days, so why do students get an afternoon out of classes right before finals?

Field day started as a substitute for intramural basketball during the aftermath of Covid-19. Because students could not be near each other, the school needed an activity that would take place outside. The competitive nature is upheld through volleyball, basketball, and kickball matches. This is when field day was born. 

Mr. Matt Dempsey helped set up the first field day in the spring of the 2020-2021 school year. Its origins are unknown, however. “I want to say it was an idea that originated with Father Friend,” he said. “It was what I would call a ‘lunchroom’ idea. It was just thrown out there like ‘Hey, this is something that would be cool.’”

The school wanted something positive to come from Covid-19. Mr. Dempsey said, “If anything good could come from Covid, this is it. Covid was such a negative experience for everybody. We thought because we had to go through all the things we had to go through we should at least get something positive out of it. So, how about field day?”

Junior John Tobin loves field day because of its competitive nature. “It is one last hoorah for the seniors as well as the last time the whole student body gets to come together and compete,” he said. 

The existence of field day has created some drawbacks that have come to the attention of the faculty. Mr. Dempsey said, “With anything like this, you always have to balance culture versus other interests like academics. You will get different opinions from different people, but as long as the administration thinks that the cultural benefits outweigh the negatives, we would like to keep doing it.” 

The cultural benefits of field day fight the drawbacks. “I like to think this has enhanced the culture of our school a little bit,” said Mr. Dempsey. “I think that is valuable. It has enhanced [the culture] enough to overcome the negatives of being out of class. We already have a pretty strong culture, but this is still pretty cool.”

Just like every activity at the school, field day has some limitations. Mr. Dempsey said, “I think [field day will last]. With anything that you do, over time,  people tend to abuse it or take advantage of it. So, if we can assume that does not happen, then I think this is something that can go on indefinitely. It can become a real tradition at Catholic High like tie-burning. It has the potential to become an entrenched tradition.”

Tobin hopes that field day stays a part of the school’s legacy as years go on. He said, “I know that field day is more recent, but in my Catholic High experience, I’ve come to love and expect it because it’s all I’ve known. It is also just a really fun experience for the end of the year and helps to ease us into our exams.”

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