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Huddle Up

Brearley athletes warmed up their intrepid goalie at one end of the Asphalt Green field while the Chapin Gators ran drills at the other. It was a typical pregame scenario, except that this was the first time our lacrosse teams had met since 2019. As I stood on the sidelines with Ms. King, Athletic Director, and Ms. Lyons, Associate Athletic Director, we bonded over this emotional moment: watching our students prepare for competition after a long hiatus.  

Parents, eager to catch a glimpse of this much missed school event, gathered on the sidewalk as their daughters chased down errant balls and leapt for overthrown passes. The girls laughed and called each other’s names. Younger players were thrilled to be with their older teammates.  

My colleagues and I recalled our own love of sports and how important teams figured in our lives. They were exuberant: Once again they and their fellow coaches would get to do what they love—nurture, challenge and inspire young athletes. “This is great! This is great!” Ms. King, a former college soccer player and coach, repeated as she rocked back and forth, seemingly ready to join a drill. 

The whistle blew, signaling the end of the warmup, and the girls ran to the bench. Coach Heyl called the names of the girls who would play first. A cheer ensued.  

As the Brearley players took to the field, they turned to each other and huddled up. Arms around shoulders, they dipped their heads.  

Ms. King and Ms. Lyons immediately exhorted them to separate. They lifted their heads knowingly, jumped high, and, with what I imagine were huge smiles behind their masks, jogged to their positions. 

Beavers versus Gators once more. 

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