As school kicks into gear, and the weather grows colder on Pilgrim Road and Prospect Street, both Winsor and Belmont Hill host exciting fall events that brighten up the long, dreary days of essays and unit tests. Despite their small student populations and the lingering effects of COVID restrictions, both communities came out in full support of their sports teams with enthusiasm. However, while Winsor and Belmont Hill both host events tailored towards cheering on athletics, they take place a month apart, go by different names, and each have their own unique traditions.
Belmont Hill’s annual Homecoming event coincides with home games from the Football, Soccer, and Cross Country teams. The alumni house invites all alumni, their families, and members of the Belmont Hill community to socialize, watch the games, and enjoy amenities like food and games like ping pong, inflatable bounce houses, and more.
Cross Country ran against St. Marks and won in a resounding 18 – 45. Football played an exciting game ending with a very close loss against Lawrence Academy of 21 – 22. Soccer competed against the ISL projected winners BB&N, ending with a hard fought tie of 2 – 2. Students were decked out in their loop shirts and Belmont Hill merchandise to cheer on teams as they defended the hill.
At Belmont Hill, students were prepared for the full day of events by Loop heads Shane Kelly ’22 and Tommy Madden ’22. The Loop specialises in ensuring students come to cheer on their classmates at all games. On Friday, students from all forms started the festivities with a dance party in the senior commons during Milk and Cookies.
At Winsor, Spirit Week dress-up days kicked off with Met Gala Monday, followed by “dress as something that starts with the same letter as your name” Tuesday, “anything but a backpack” Wednesday, Decades Day Thursday, and the traditional Friday theme, Red Day. Red Day culminated in a pep rally, which is usually held in the gym, but this year was held on the field in order to allow students to go maskless. To begin, Classes VII and VIII ran in, revealing their class sweatshirts, and several music classes performed on xylophones and drums.
Finally, the most important part of the pep rally took place. Each grade prepared a “cheer,” which, despite the name, is really more of a dance routine. At the end of the performances, the Lower School received awards like “Most Spirited” and “Best Choreography,” while the seniors came out on top of the Upper School competition. Spirit Week costume awards like “Best Duo” and “Best Department” were also handed out. Stella MacLean ’24 said, “I had forgotten how exciting being together and watching every grade’s cheer is. It was one of my favorite traditions in Lower School, and it was awesome that we were able to bring back the fun and sense of community!” Finally, following the national anthem from chorale, sports games began. The volleyball, field hockey, and soccer teams at Winsor played at home. Around the time of JV games, it got dark enough that the field lights above the turf were switched on, and our teams got to play “Under the Lights” for the first time that fall. Meanwhile, spectators enjoyed great food from the cafeteria staff as they cheered on all of our athletes with great enthusiasm and support.