Two days ahead of the biggest game in the best rivalry of high school sports (held at McDonogh this year), students from Gilman and McDonogh paused their competitive spirits for a morning of shared reading and camaraderie. Fall varsity athletics team captains from both schools joined together to read books to Lower School students at Gilman on Thursday, November 2.
Head of Lower School Linda Fussell welcomed the visitors, followed by remarks from Athletic Director Russell Wrenn ’96. As he reflected on his own experience playing sports in Upper School at Gilman vs. McDonogh, he said, “One thing that has changed is that we can celebrate this rivalry beyond the football game.”
McDonogh’s Co-Athletic Director, Mickey Deegan, gave shoutouts to the group of McDonogh alumni now employed at Gilman, who “gave up their Eagle wings to become Hounds.” Standing in the Stevens Room, she went on to say, “We have some great connections here.”
Team captains broke into pairs and spread throughout the Lower School to read books about football to boys in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade to get them pumped up for the big game on Saturday.
The morning concluded in the Lumen Center, where Head of School Henry P. A. Smyth thanked the athletes and gave closing thoughts:
“You might notice that I’m wearing an orange tie today. And [McDonogh’s Head of School] Mr. Farace is wearing a Gilman tie. Every year before the big game, we wear each other’s ties. We think it’s important to show everybody that as much as we like to compete against each other, we also consider ourselves to be friends. We challenge each other to be better. That’s what the rivalry is all about. You can want to win and we should want to win — and we also want to beat McDonogh at their best. We want to bring out the best in each other.”