Faith brings the fire

Features

At this year’s Hewett Day football night game, the energy was unmatched. Wyverns young and old filled the fan section with rowdy cheering and powerful school spirit. The halftime mark was met, and the varsity football team headed off the field. Fans excitedly awaited the festivities as Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” began to blast from the turf speakers. 

Junior Faith Potter headed onto the field and began a baton-twirling routine that electrified the fans. Spirits were high, and, for the grand finale, Faith did the unthinkable. Cheers erupted as she began to twirl two more batons that were each lit on fire, ending a stellar routine with a crowd-wowing showstopper that fans recall as a highlight of the historic Hewett Day festivities.

Baton twirling is a lifelong passion of Faith’s. She started twirling when she was three years old through a recreational program called the Simsbury Spinners and has since competed in many one-baton and two-baton contests and solo performances. However, none of these involved fire, which twirlers typically only attempt for large events and games.

This past summer, Faith helped run a summer twirling program for kids, which was where the inspiration for her Hewett Day halftime routine struck. “I was talking with the other counselors, and one girl was doing a halftime show for her high school football team,” she said. “I was thinking about how we have Hewett Day, but we don’t have a cheer team or a pep band, so I thought it would be cool if I did a routine at halftime.”

Faith also noticed KO’s recent emphasis on boosting school spirit, and she viewed this as the perfect opportunity to do just that. So, she reached out and proposed her idea to Director of Athletics Josh Balabuch and Dean of Students Krista Sahrbeck, received approval to do the routine with fire, and set her vision into motion. “I had really great support from Mr. Balabuch and Ms. Sahrbeck,” Faith said. “They were both really on board with it and excited for it.”

From there, Faith began learning her routine and preparing. “I was really nervous before because there were a lot of people there, and the only time I had done a solo performance was when I was competing,” she mentioned. “I had never done anything like this before, and never with fire.”

Despite the initial nerves, Faith’s strong baton twirling foundation and prowess came through, allowing her to execute her most challenging tricks. The performance was a resounding success, which she partly attributes to the lively and supportive energy from KO’s home crowd. “After my routine, I was on top of the world.” Faith said. “It was so fun, and to have all of that support behind me was such a good feeling.”

KO fans were truly wowed by her routine. “Faith’s performance was a great addition to Hewett Day,” sophomore Ashley Buckingham shared. “My friends and I enjoyed watching her during halftime and I was really impressed with her routine.”

Overall, Faith’s routine was a success beyond her wildest dreams and helped to ignite KO’s school spirit.