There is a small collection of BDS families, students, and some faculty who have been waiting for this column for some time now. You know who you are, (and you are welcome in advance).
I fear the reign of our dominant Boston and New England area professional sports team is on the decline. The Red Sox, after a season in which they, at first, surpassed expectations are now stumbling to the end of the season. The Patriots will welcome prodigal son, Tom Brady, and his Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay teammates to town this weekend for a matchup that I fear may leave the local football team looking the worse for wear. Our two winter pro sports franchisesthe Celtics and Bruinsare only now starting up their preseason. In short, the Boston pro sports landscape looks a bit grim, and as someone who has used this column in the past to do a bit of a victory lap on behalf of these teams (to the chagrin of the aforementioned folks who are not fans of the local teams), I humbly submit that their moment may finally have arrived. Soak it up, all you Yankee fans. Who knows how long this moment will last.
For those of you who share in my disappointment with the local pro sports scene, however, I can offer a much more joyful fan experience that has been similarly elusive over the past 18 months: BDS athletic competitions. On any given Wednesday (or Thursday), the fields at BDS have come back to competitive life. Our middle school athletes are competing against peer schools in soccer, field hockey, flag football, and cross country and all of the teams have reported a strong start to the season.
Added to the play experienced on the field, though, is the experience of community that it brings. Joyful cheers of fans (!) on the sidelines. Teams coalescing before our eyes during the games. Students putting forth their best effort while being guided by passionate coaches eager to see the student learning experience extend beyond the indoor classrooms to these fields: our outdoor classrooms.
Authentic lessons of leadership, hardship, teamwork, victory, defeat, kindness and caring are learned before a supportive audience. As one parent said to me on the sidelines yesterday, “At this level, I have a hard time rooting against the other team. These are kids, doing what they love. If they make a mistake or give up a goal, I have a hard time rooting for them to fail.” What a beautiful expression of our values and the importance of having interscholastic competition back on our campus again. (Also, it was a helpful reminder to your rather competitive head of school who may have, admittedly, from time to time, rooted against an opponent or two.)
Regardless of who you’re rooting for, though, the energy of the moment is undeniable. It is a welcome throwback to pre-pandemic days here on campus with our community gathering (lower and middle school fans alike!) to cheer on the home team. And yes, these days, we local sports fans are in need of something to cheer for. For some, that may be the desperate hope that the Sox can somehow hold onto that last wild card spot. For others, it may be either victory or defeat for Tom Brady (or the Patriots). But for all of us, the one place we can agree to put our enthusiasm, joy, and spirit is for the Blue and Gold, on any given Wednesday.