With the original reason for Homecoming in mind, the Country Day field hockey, boys’ soccer and boys’ basketball programs will host alumni games on Saturday morning.
In 1975, Mr. Win Robinson transformed the club boys’ soccer team into a varsity squad. With little idea of what to expect, the team realized immediate success, compiling 86 wins over the first eight seasons. Just a decade after the program’s inception, the 1985 team won its first state championship. On Saturday, the program will honor the 40th anniversary of the first varsity team and the 30th anniversary of the first state championship with a special alumni game.
“I think the alumni game is a really important feature of a program and school,” Dustin Swinehart, head varsity boys’ soccer coach, said. “It allows the current players to meet, connect and play with former players. It allows the current teams to appreciate the players that played before them that established and created the program they now play in. This will be a wonderful celebration of the great history and progress the Country Day program has had over the past 40 years.”
The Country Day field hockey program has experienced tremendous success during its history – state championships and alumni in the college ranks abound – but one of the most touching moments in program history was the original Coke Float game in November 2007. Honoring Rachel Giblin, a classmate who had passed away the previous year while participating in a charity bike ride, the field hockey team put together an alumni game, enjoying the student’s favorite treat. The game raised money for a Country Day scholarship, which still exists today as the Rachel Giblin Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. An annual fixture for nine years now, the field hockey alumni game continues the tradition on Saturday.
“We love this day!” Lisa Thompson, head varsity field hockey coach, said. “What a great opportunity for the field hockey community to get together and celebrate the incredible thread of experience that connects us, young and old.”
The boys’ basketball program has the granddaddy of them all when it comes to alumni games. For more than 30 years, the basketball team has brought back its former players to take on the current team. Recently, interest has been so great that an alumni vs. alumni format was adopted to get players more time on the court.
“The alumni game is a great way to bring former players back to school for fellowship and a time to reminisce. It has been very popular, averaging about 24 players per year,” Kevin Daly, former boys’ basketball coach, said. “It has moved from Thanksgiving break to the current format of playing in the fall; this will be the first year we have done so, and we anticipate a great turnout.”
Following warm-ups, the field hockey game will begin at 10 a.m., basketball at 10:30, and soccer at 11. Food trucks will be on-hand at Blythe Field starting at 11:30 to help keep the crowd full and happy.
No matter the score, the Bucs will be sure to win big this Homecoming weekend.