As the school year begins, the Student Athletic Advisory Council, or SAAC, has plenty of ideas for the fall sports season. SAAC officers were recently appointed, and committees are now working on new ideas for autumn events. Seniors Wes Pierce and Angelina Maselli are co-presidents, junior Sydney Smith is vice president, junior Isabelle Berkemeyer is secretary, and sophomore Alexis Vail is head of marketing and communications.
Committees for Hewett Day and Pink Week are hoping to improve on previous traditions, while committees such as Spirit Week, the “Hype Train,” Middle School and Upper School Connections, and Marketing and Communications are working to spread school spirit and involve the entire KO community in fall athletics. The long-anticipated night games on the turf can also be expected this season.
After a lengthy application process with West Hartford Zoning, KO will finally host night games on the turf; the first two games will be boys and girls soccer on Friday, Oct. 18, with field hockey and football back to back on Nov. 8. SAAC plans on having themes in the school colors for spectators, as well as interactive half-time shows and possibly even a raffle. “We want to see it red and black, you know just the Wyvern spirit,” Director of Athletics Debbie Fiske said.
Mrs. Fiske described the process of getting a permit for lights, which began in early summer. “You have to go through the town of West Hartford’s zoning to get a permit, a temporary permit for the lights,” she said. “We sent out around 500 letters to everyone surrounding the whole campus, letting neighbors know we wanted to do this, and we had to put out signs letting them know about the hearing,” she said.
Wes attended the hearing to give the council a student’s perspective and to promote the night games. “Going to the hearing for the night games was an interesting experience but, of course, extremely beneficial,” he said. “Although the meeting was long, I believe that it showed how much of a positive impact KO has on the West Hartford community.”
Neighbors’ concerns ranged from noise and the brightness of lights to the issue of parking on and around campus, but West Hartford zoning was eventually convinced. “After a very long night they said that they thought it was very reasonable and were very happy and excited for us,” Mrs. Fiske said.
Hewett Day and Pink Week are also fast approaching this October, and SAAC is excitedly thinking of ways to improve the classic KO traditions. Mrs. Fiske said that while they’re great events, SAAC wants to find ways to make them even better. “We want to be thinking, you know, is there something more? Can we bring a little bit more to it?” she said.
One new idea for Pink Week is to put up ribbons where students can write the name of somebody who has or is currently battling breast cancer. “It’s through athletics but it’s bigger than that,” Mrs. Fiske said. “It’s a world issue that we want to help be a voice to and celebrate those who are fighting for the cause.”
Wes said he hopes all KO teams will show their support. “It is an extremely good cause and the support from our student body would be widely appreciated,” he said. Brand new to SAAC is the Marketing and Communications committee, which Mrs. Fiske hopes will involve more of the KO community. “While there’s so many good things that the groups are doing, it kind of becomes sheltered just in athletics,” she explained. “We’re looking for ideas from this committee or that group to expand on that.”
Angelina said she is looking forward to what SAAC has planned for this year. “Ultimately, everyone in SAAC has the same goal which is to better KO athletics as a whole,” she said. “We’re still early and the fun has yet to come.”