By Gia Bharadwaj and Ryan Fantasia
Under the Lights (UTL), an annual celebration of school spirit and sports, is one of Winsor’s most beloved traditions. However, COVID-19 made traditions like class cheers and watching matches impossible last year, so many returning students have not truly experienced the event. It has been almost two years since our last normal UTL, leaving multiple unanswered questions regarding what we can expect this year.
Ms. Reynolds, the faculty advisor for Students Advocating for School Spirit (SASS) and Varsity Volleyball coach, revealed that SASS does “the themes and the dress up” for UTL, and they are “trying to hype it up this year to get everybody excited.” She hopes this UTL will be even more exciting than previous years since people will realize “how much they missed it.” Ms. Reynolds noted that this UTL will allow students to show school spirit and even enable alums to visit the school. “When we get more people to come, it’s much more of a bonding experience,” she said. She believes that “not having UTL last year” hurt the Winsor community.
Emeline Daley ’24, a member of the crew team and one of the sophomore class presidents, thinks that students “definitely had some limited spirit” because of the pandemic. She added that “this year, we’ll hopefully be able to get some of that energy back.”
Additionally, Emeline offered some technical details about UTL. “I think we’ll be outside [for the pep rally],” she said. She added that UTL will have the same “dancing and music as before.” Ms. Reynolds explained that alums plan the logistics of the athletic events on Red Day, so some aspects are uncertain. However, she knows that Spirit Week will last five days instead of the usual four since it does not overlap with Indigenous People’s Day.
Emeline’s favorite part of UTL is “when everyone builds that bridge and all the sports teams get to run through.” She also appreciates that the community recognizes the hard work of athletes. Ms. Reynolds loves that “whether or not you’re an athlete, everybody participates. It’s not just about the sports. Everybody gets dressed up, everybody does the cheer.” While most fall sports are celebrated at UTL, neither crew nor cross country have competitions on that Friday. Ms. Reynolds thinks that “it would be kind of nice if cross country and crew had races…we could continue UTL onto that Saturday.” Emeline also suggested that members of these teams could run a game booth during UTL.
As a sports coach, Ms. Reynolds understands “how important it is to the players to have school involvement and to really feel backed by the school and the student body.” Additionally, Emeline hopes that UTL will have “a lot of energy and just [be] a fun experience overall.” Though this UTL will look slightly different from previous years, students can expect a more exciting and familiar version of the event than last year.