KO’s annual Hewett Day, a special tradition when all sports teams play at home on the same day, took place on Saturday, Oct. 21, for the Upper School, with Middle School Hewett Day hosted on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Hewett Day was started all the way back in 1952 by Head of School Merritt Hewett. Wanting to create a day where all teams would play at home, Mr. Hewett chose a Saturday in October to do so. Parents were invited to attend, and the football and varsity soccer games were traditionally held in the afternoon. After Mr. Hewett passed away in 1962, the day was renamed “Hewett Day” from its original name, “Kingswood Day,” to honor him.
This year Upper School teams faced many different opponents including Westminster, St. Paul’s, and Kent. Unfortunately, due to the rain, both JV and varsity soccer games for boys and girls were canceled.
For the Middle School, Hewett Day typically takes place on a Friday, but instead was held on the Wednesday prior to Reunion weekend. Middle School teams typically compete against Renbrook School, but since they were unable to compete on that date, they faced various different teams, similar to the Upper School.
One of the most anticipated matches for this year’s Hewett Day was volleyball, who took on Kent. Both JV and varsity took home big wins, with varsity winning by a score of 3-1 and the JV team winning 3-2. In other games, despite not taking home victories, all the teams fought hard and gave their very best.
To pull off a day like Hewett Day takes meticulous planning, starting in the spring prior and lasting six months. Extra planning took place this year since there were logistics to work out with multiple schools and athletic directors, rather than just one school, which KO has traditionally done. The planning is made easier thanks to the help of the Parent Association who always takes care of food and refreshments.
The day creates a unique environment where athletes playing in their own games get to attend other team’s games that they don’t normally have the opportunity to during the season. Director of Athletics Josh Balabuch shared what makes the day so unique for athletes. “It just gives you this momentum, and usually you see our teams start with this bang,” he said, “because momentum is a huge thing in sports and that’s what fans provide. So, if they’re all yelling and cheering and screaming, you just naturally have more energy you can use.”
Next year will prove to be a more traditional Hewett Day with all teams except football playing Pomfret, instead of numerous schools. Hopefully, Middle School Hewett Day will be back on a Friday, allowing Upper School students to cheer on and support the younger Wyverns.
Despite the rain, as a whole, Hewett Day showed its exceptional ability to bring students, parents, and alumni together sharing a common goal: to cheer on Wyvern sports and to see the athletes give it their all.