By Sophia Daniels ‘18
On November 21st, the Heschel community gathered to show support for the boys’ varsity basketball team for our first Homecoming event. The bleachers were filled with an estimated 80 fans that included current students, friends, family, and alumni.
Senior Grade Representative and Spirit Council member Leila Small outlined the Council’s two goals for the event. “We wanted to get as many alumni back … and create a big pump-up session where a bunch of people were excited to support our sports teams,” she said.
In all, Small felt that the event “was definitely a success.” In the Spirit Council group chat, Small said that the members texted each other after about how this Homecoming “blew away their expectations.”
The event included considerable fundraising for the first semester cause. Small said that organizers sold around 50 raffle tickets that raised money for The Afya Foundation, which works to send medical supplies to locations in need.
Some things did not go as planned. Small explained that the council had hoped to sell dinner and cotton candy at the game, but these plans didn’t work out. The Council sent out a poll to see if people would stay at school for dinner before the game, and most said they were going out, so the Council simply ordered a few pizzas for those who had responded.
Small also mentioned the difficulty of making sure that there was enough incentive for students to come. She explained that the Council spent a lot of time ensuring that the next day would be a no-homework day. She was pleased to see the bleachers overflowing with students the night of the game.
Senior Joseph Icikson and member of the boys’ varsity basketball team explained how it was really special “having so many people come who wanted to be there for us.” He mentioned how different this game felt because usually their games “are so quiet.” “Not just doing the cheering ourselves and having people supporting us” was a really unique feeling, he said. “There’s nothing like it.”
Icikson’s message to the school is that “you guys should come to every game!” When thinking about the viability of this, he said, “Who needs to do work?” Whether he meant this sarcastically or not, he recommended coming for an hour or two, and he explained that you can still find time to do work before or after. Icikson also mentioned that even for away games, it is important for students to make an effort to be there to show support for the team.
The team hopes to see people at their more important playoff games, which will be in late February and March.
Spirit Council remains committed to hosting another Homecoming next year. According to Small, the council is excited to “build on the base they have built.” There are still things they want to improve on, like selling carnival snacks and cultivating even more spirit.