Hewett Day a Major Victory


Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15, were busy days on campus, as both the KO Upper and Middle School held Hewett Day, where all athletic teams play home games.

This long-standing tradition at KO has been around since 1952, when Head of School Merritt Hewett chose a Saturday in October where Kingswood teams would compete in home games, with competitive varsity soccer and football games in the afternoon. Parents were invited to attend, and alumni were asked to come back for the day of festivities. After Hewett’s death in 1962, the event was renamed Hewett Day to honor what the former Head of School did for the students and families that made up the Kingswood community during his time with the school.

This year, Middle School games took place on Friday, Oct. 14, on the Trout Brook Fields and the turf field. There was a good turnout of Upper School students, as teams were asked to cheer for their younger counterparts and support them in the spirit of a true Hewett Day. “The idea that the team could not have won a game without the crowd and the Wyvern Den behind them is more true than you may think,” Director of Athletics Josh Balabuch said.

On Friday night, there were three Upper School night games, including varsity volleyball’s Dig Pink game. The game was designed to raise breast cancer awareness and give members of the community an opportunity to donate to the Side-Out Foundation, which focuses its attention and efforts on funding metastatic breast cancer research and treatment. There was an excellent turnout at the game with lots of students coming out to support their peers, and the girls won their 2022 Dig Pink game.

All of the hard work that went into the planning and execution of Hewett Day 2022 made the event run without a hitch, and Upper School athletes performed well in their respective competitions. With a packed Wyvern Den, many teams accomplished goals they had heading into their games, even if they did not win their game. Seven teams out of the 10 teams added a victory that Saturday, crushing teams from Pomfret and Canterbury Schools on Hewett Day.

A combination of good weather and support from their peers, families, and alumni on Oct. 15, created the perfect atmosphere for a great Hewett Day. Games with a meaning behind them generally bring the community closer together, and giving student-athletes an opportunity like Hewett Day has always and will continue to add an extra layer to the idea of a home-field advantage. “The idea behind the highlight contests this fall is giving the student body a chance to attend a game where there is little to no other obligations,” Mr. Balabuch said. Hewett Day this year did just that, as shown by the victory record and turnout at competitions across campus.

An event as big as Hewett Day requires a lot of planning, and as such, many important individuals and departments both at KO and at opposing schools are consulted. A preliminary schedule is set in the spring of the year prior, but the organization of the day takes a lot of time to officially schedule and work the kinks out of. “Planning for Hewett Day starts as early as two years in advance,” Mr. Balabuch said. “We have to firm up the date with other schools and departments at KO.”

On the whole, the day was a success, as all KO teams showed up to compete, and the support from parents, peers, and alumni packing the stands on this historic day motivated athletes to leave it all out on the field. “Watching the excitement from our student-athletes when they accomplish a goal of theirs in victory or defeat, is why we do the job,” Mr. Balabuch said.