Friday Night Football at Randolph

Posted by bhulsey - 06 September, 2011

This past weekend we enjoyed the return of Friday Night Football, Randolph’s second year of varsity, 11-man competition.  These evenings are pure magic for our K-12 community, and I am always reminded of how special it is to host a game and bring guests on the Garth Campus and connect so many in the Randolph family.  Friday night was no exception, and there were (at least) ten highlights for me:

  1. The cheerleaders have improved every year.  Their school spirit has always been a constant, but to watch them perform an awesome pyramid at the pep rally showed that effort and determination over the long haul make all the difference.
  2. Our team is not blessed with a great amount of depth at many positions, which makes every game a challenge.  But the opportunities for freshmen and sophomores to step up are enormous, and it is always fun and inspiring to watch them jump into the fray.
  3. The Randolph Band is a great highlight of every home game.  Watching senior Arekson Sunwood conduct the band as drum major reminded me that unique opportunities for leadership emerge at Randolph, and that our most enterprising and committed students are always there to try something new.
  4. Seeing the 6th grade choir take the field under the direction of Katie Hoppe-McQueen for a beautiful performance of the National Anthem demonstrated how arts and athletics are connected in a K-12 community like Randolph’s.
  5. On Friday senior Garrett Jones called his kindergarten buddy, Carter Pollock, and asked him to come to the game.  Carter came with his family, and watching him attached to the fence with his big eyes and beaming smile looking out for number 57 on defense was a special treat.
  6. We honored Candy Page, former Director of Alumni Relations and wife of former Randolph Athletic Director, Kurt Page, at halftime.  Candy died this summer after a long struggle with cancer.  While she worked at Randolph, Candy wrote the lyrics to the Randolph fight song, and after a moment of silence to honor her life, the crowd joined the band in a rousing rendition of the School’s fight song.
  7. Senior Grant Billings has torn his ACL twice in the last three years.  He thought he might never play again.  Knowing how hard he’s worked this summer and then seeing him on the field at linebacker in crunch-time with his parents cheering enthusiastically from the stands was a great moment.
  8. Looking out over on the baseball field and watching the younger kids play their hearts out under the ever-present supervision of Ms. Betty and George Crutcher is what community is all about.
  9. At the end of the game Matt Wall’s mom, Stacey, showed me a letter that Matt had received in the mail that day from his kindergarten buddy, Charlie Robin.  Charlie had folded up a home-made card wishing Matt good luck, replete with a special drawing of a young man playing quarterback.  Stacey and Matt are likely to keep that card forever.
  10. Despite all the feel-good moments that came from Friday night at Randolph, our boys lost a hard-fought game, 27-20.  The connectivity that most of us enjoyed at the game didn’t do much to ease their disappointment and frustration.  A last highlight for me came in a near-empty parking lot long after the final gun as I walked back to my car and crossed paths with seniors Sean Kim, Matt Wall, and Bird Sherrill.  I asked them for an assessment, and Bird’s reply was perfect for a community of learners: “We have a lot of work to do.”  That kind of spirit will take us all a long way forward in a life well-lived.

Topics: athletics, challenge, character, cheerleaders, community, football, leadership, Head of School, Effort, Kindergarten/Senior Buddies, Band, Community of Learners, School Spirit

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