By: Jen Horseman
After 3 long years away from Summer Games it felt amazing to return to the sunlight and fresh cut grass at EKU!
With 63 athletes in tow, we participated in three main sports: Soccer, Bocce, and Track and Field. So many of our athletes worked tirelessly to prepare for their competition. Weeks of training, mental preparation, uniform adjustments, time improvements, all to come down to one day aflame! How perfect that SOKY’s theme this year was Champions Rise! With a congregation like Stewart Home and School’s, we sure did!
Friday, after our arrival at the hotel, students and staff celebrated with a 2 floor pizza party!
After a little unwinding, Coaches received their delegation packets and passed out uniforms as well as SOKY’s annual special participatory Tee. Always a student favorite!!
Early to bed, and early to rise! Bocce was up and at’em at 5:30 am!! After which Track and Soccer teams followed. Group after group filed in to the conference room for a hand served hotel breakfast by our ever faithful Hampton Inn staff! Even after a 3 year hiatus, many of them remembered our students by name and wished them luck! It was so amazing to see how much care and effort they put in to supporting our athletes!
As teams eventually separated onto their specific fields, you could feel the electricity build. The excitement of the tents going up, coolers rolling out, spectators filling the stands, dew on the grass, all just after the sun was cresting the horizon reminded us of the community comradery we had been missing. Just seeing all of our friends from other counties was like being back with family!
At the end of it all, and in the hottest part of the day, we ended up Champions! Two of our Soccer teams won medals with Gold and Bronze! 13 out of 19 Track superstars placed on the top 3 pedestals, including 6 Golds!!! Bocce teams brought home some hardware too!!
Overall, it was a beautiful reassurance that our dedication to students, and their dedication to their sport was an effort blessed by passion, and love.
Love for our students and passion for the game.
These things make Champions! And our Champions, rise!
Photos by: Jen Horseman, Charles Gassen, and Taleb Al-Namer