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Held back for the home game

Regaon Houpt '25

Oct 28, 2022

After the first exhausting six weeks of the academic year, most of the school body — teachers and students alike — craved a break from our hectic schedules. Long fall weekend gave the community the perfect opportunity to step away, take a breath, and recharge. Some students enjoyed the exciting SAC trips and events; others, if possible, went home to see their families (mainly their dogs); and a number of students prefered to spend their leisure time hibernating in their rooms to catch up on their well-deserved sleep. For several student athletes competing on teams, their break was abridged by games or training requirements. Having obligations over long fall weekend seems counterintuitive to the main purpose of the break.

Teams like girls tennis and boys cross country cpmpeted on Friday, then no further bad requirements for the remainder of the long weekend. This provided the players and coaches with an adequate amount of time off. David Grady, head coach of the boys cross country team, said that this works well for the team. “Having a few days off is healthy and I think it gives us all a chance to rest up and recharge for the second half of the term,” Grady stated. The break prevents burnout, both mental and physical. Long fall weekend is a great opportunity for athletes to recover from the intense training they have been committed to, allowing them to return from the respite with even more strength and motivation. “It is important to keep the health and well-being of the athletes in the forefront,”  Grady emphasized.

Other teams, such as the boys varsity soccer team, did not have the privilege of experiencing the entire long break. Players competed on Saturday and Tuesday and practiced on both Monday and Friday. This scheduling left the boys’ varsity soccer team with only Sunday off and made it difficult to plan any outings or family visits during the break. Kevin Malo ‘24 reported that he chose to stay on campus due to the team requirements. Mike Sweeney, head coach of the girls tennis team understands this commitment. “[I] see the season in session and understand that being a part of a team is a commitment, one that is really important,” Sweeney said, but he finds it equally, if not more, important, that student-athletes receive a break. 

During the school week and athletic season, players and coaches follow a demanding schedule, as Grady put it. Practices, games, classes, homework, and extracurriculars keep students busy, oftentimes too busy to enjoy leisure and social time. Long fall weekend should provide students with the chance to address their personal needs, so that they have the motivation and determination to attack the second half of the term and the season. Everybody deserves a fulfilling break, Sweeney concluded. “A few days away from school is probably a good thing for everyone, students, teachers, and coaches…and maybe even the team.”

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