Creating School Spirit Through Gym Volleyball

Kirti Nath, Science Editor

Throughout the month of December, Ward Melville High School seniors and juniors participate in an in-class gym volleyball tournament. Each period is divided into teams of six or seven players, which then play each other until a winner from each period emerged. On Monday, December 21st, there was an after school tournament in which winning A-C-E and B-D-F day teams competed for a position in the ‘final,’ an event hosted by the WMHS gym department, in front of the junior and senior classes, on December 23rd..

These in-class volleyball tournaments create a very different gym class environment as they engage everyone for a few weeks and create a commonality among all upperclassmen. Students typically uninterested in gym become part of a team and are forced to play for a few weeks, and a lot of the time, they actually ended up enjoying it. These teams also put students out of their social comfort zone, and allow them to meet students they might not have spoken to otherwise.

The ‘finals’ themselves also create a community atmosphere on the day before the winter recess. The shortened class periods meat that very few examinations could be held on that day, which creates a more relaxed environment to ease into the holidays.

The game itself was filled with excitement. Ward Melville is notorious for its lack of school spirit. Very few faculty members or students are aware of what goes on the realms of the school that they are not involved in. Often times, teams are named county or state champions without much notice from the Ward Melville community, other than a largely ignored announcement over the loud speaker in the morning. They volleyball event was, I guess, the closest thing Ward Melville has to a ‘pep rally.’ For at least one day, much of the student body was participating in the same event. It fostered a brief sense of community that is rarely felt at Ward Melville, which was a refreshing change of pace.

So for me, going into the volleyball tournament, I didn’t expect it to be the great experience that it was. Although I am not a star athlete, or particularly interested in gym, I feel that I gained a lot from the volleyball tournament. For at least three weeks, I really enjoyed gym class, met a few new people, and had something to look forward to on A-C-E days.