Orange Team Wins Second Consecutive Field Day


Ella Chait

The orange team celebrate its title on Kennerly Field with the trophy after Coach Harbeck announced them winners for the second year in a row.

The debate raging for years is that Field Day is fixed. However, that rumor may have been put to bed this year as the orange team won for the second consecutive year. According to Middle School Athletic Director and Field Day organizer Mr. Toby Harbeck, it’s the first time since 2005 that one team has won back-to-back titles.

In addition, the Field Day format was given a major overhaul last year, with new games such as hungry hippos and the fireman’s water bucket drill added to the agenda. Every student also now participates in every event, instead of just two or three.

“I enjoyed the changes that were made last year because it made the day different and exciting instead of continuing to have the same games every year,” said seventh-grader Michael Louis.  

The traditional middle school competition, which pits orange team members versus blue team members (the TBS colors), awards points for winners of various competitions, including basketball, kickball, tug of war, and even a dance-off.

And the obstacle course – the fan favorite that, in the new format, now begins the competition. Students start out head-to-head pedaling on a tricycle down one half of Kennerly Field. From there, they must fish for a golf ball inside a barrel full of water and muck, then they move on to a walk across the balance beam. Next is the hula hoop station where they must keep the hula hoop spinning for ten rotations around their bodies. Finally, they race as fast as they can to the slip-and-slide where they get covered in water (thanks to a teacher wielding a hose).

Chase Malamala
Seventh-grader Abby Spunar gets chased down by Coach Keller’s hose during the obstacle course.

“I liked the obstacle course because it was very fun and you got to go really fast,” said seventh-grader Sloane McIlvaine. The obstacle course has been included in Field Day for more than 16 years according to Harbeck.

The aforementioned hungry hippos pair students together, with one lying on her stomach on a scooter and armed with a laundry basket, and the other navigating her by holding her legs.  The student on the scooter uses the laundry basket to collect as many balls as possible and bring them back to her team’s designated corner. After that, the person pushing the first player gets on the scooter board, and the game continues until time is up. The team with the most points wins.  

The fireman’s water bucket drill is a little more simple. The two teams form two separate lines with a trash can full of water in front of them, and two empty trash cans in the back of the line to collect the water. The teams each have three buckets and continuously fill them with water from the bucket in the front, , then pass the buckets over their heads to the back of the line to fill the empty buckets in the back. This continues until one team fills up both of their empty buckets. It wouldn’t be Field Day without some fun and delicious food, either. The options were hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers. There were also many toppings such as onions, lettuce, and tomato. The faculty members who grilled this year’s delicious lunch were Mr. Ginnetty, Ms. McAllister, Mr. Maddox, and Mr. Oster. Mini bags of chips and plenty of mini water bottles were also offered.

As far as the competition went, both the orange and blue teams were led, as they are every year, by a male and female captain voted on by the eighth-grade faculty. Criteria for choosing a captain are attitude, spirit, and sportsmanship. This year, for the blue team, Emilie Dubiel and Brady Quinn were the captains. For the orange team, Jessica Holland and Charlie Spungin were the captains.

Emerson Ferry
Orange team co-captain and eighth grader Jessie Holland races to wrap Elena McDonough and her teammates with toilet paper ahead of the blue team during an early-morning event in the gym.

“It was an honor to be a captain because it showed the teachers thought highly of me, and it was fun to get to be on the field and interact with everyone on my team and help out,” said Spungin.

“I was happy to be a captain because it is a good leadership award, and I’ve wanted to do it since sixth grade,” added fellow orange team captain Jessica Holland.

During the festivities, the blue team took a significant lead as it dominated the early games. In fact, the only chance the orange team had was to sweep the final tug of war matchups at the end of the day. Well, did they ever! Due to the fact that the orange team had significantly more people than the blue team, it won each grade level tug of war and then the overall orange versus blue tug of war battle to claim this year’s Field Day trophy.

No matter what team students were on, though, it was still a great day, despite the gray skies and spattering of rain.

“Field Day is my favorite day of the year because everyone worked together [to win] and there was no school work,” says sixth-grader Vanessa Zito, a member of the orange team.

“Between the obstacle course and the hungry hippo game, the students definitely got to create some awesome memories on Field Day,” said Harbeck.