When I arrived at my school last year, I had high expectations for the middle school Sports Day, held once every semester, until I realized that my team had a reputation of always losing. I blogged about the first and second Sports Days at school. During Sports Day, all the middle school students are divided into four houses, Barracudas, Sting Rays, Squid Squads and Dolphins. I am on the team of perennial underdogs, the Sting Rays. No one at school can even remember the last time the Sting Rays won. Last year, when we came in third place second semester everyone thought it was a miracle. We finished the day by saying, "At least we weren't last."
Yesterday began the same as any other Sports Day, with the Barracudas somehow "magically" over 100 points in front of every other team as a result of poster competitions and individual student points for random good deeds. Once again it seemed as though their team was set up to win before any else got a chance to give a fair fight. They are the New York Yankees of middle school Sports Day.
However, this year the Sting Rays had a new advantage - 8th grade students who stepped up as leaders both in athletics and sportsmanship. One 8th grade girl in particular really emphasized the importance of cheering for teammates with a cheer that she made up and taught to the whole team.
"Deep inside, Sting Rays are,
We're going to win this time!
Dolphins are not good enough,
Squid Squads aren't very tough.
Barracudas are so last year,
Come on Sting Rays, let's cheer!"
The Sting Rays!
Throughout the day, the other teams had their shining moments, but by halfway through the day it became obvious that the Sting Rays had a decent chance to win! We were doing well in the competitions and sportsmanship category. Competitions featured both team and individual contests. Three-legged races, coffee sack races, soccer games, volleyball games, and strength tests finished we all gathered in the gym at 2:15 PM, anxious to hear the results.
Points accumulated and...Sting Rays won!!! I am so excited for the students, who hopefully will feel like we have a fighting chance to win the second Sports Day! Also, I don't really think its good for morale when there is always one team that is the assumed winner, so hopefully the students take this as a good lesson about working hard and having fun. :)