After an especially focused week of football practice under the glow of a rental light, late into the evening after the sunset, we felt ready to play toe to toe with a team that Groton had not beat in three years. On Friday night, after our walkthrough before the next day’s game, and the last of the season, everyone got cleaned up and headed to the gym classroom for a special dinner that the parents organized to celebrate this year’s seniors.
Following some wonderful Chipotle—a break from the regular Dining Hall food—we walked outside for a little St. Mark’s bonfire of our own. This experience quickly became intimate as we huddled around the small fire that Coach Lamoreaux was trying to keep alive with his blowtorch. After we poked fun at Clement, one of our captains, for telling us the best way to go about lighting the fire, the mood turned somber as all of the seniors shared what the football team had meant to them over the years. In the cold, rainy weather, all of the younger players, including myself, lined up to talk to all of the seniors individually and tell them how much they meant to us. Being such an emotional experience, especially for those attending Groton for a few years, we all shed a few tears, as the team would never be the same again.
Of course, our goal was not to keep the somber and low-energy mood, but to get ready for a huge win on Saturday! Following the bonfire, all the guys crammed into a bathroom in Leroy’s Dorm, brought in two razors and two chairs from nearby rooms, and proceeded to get their hair cut by our makeshift team barbers—Matt and Caleb. Interestingly enough, they actually kept their hair safely unshaved, but were happy to give all of the other guys on the team “really clean” and “professional” haircuts. I decided that it would be fun to switch up my hairstyle, so I consulted both Obinna (another player) and Matt for my cut. It did not turn out very well, but I did not care. Unfortunately, the next day, my parents came to campus to watch our game and saw me beforehand. My mother was not too pleased with my new cut. Maybe it was because of my lucky haircut that we shut out St. Mark’s 28-0 and our team had one of the best games of our season. Go Zeebs!