Clubs and teams welcome the “newbies”

Clubs+and+teams+welcome+the+%22newbies%22

It’s 5:00 a.m., and Amy O’Grady is fast asleep in her bed, unaware of the rude awakening in store for her.  Suddenly, O’Grady is met by the sight of the varsity lacrosse team. Sneaking through an unlocked door, the team has come with plans to kidnap her. There’s only one problem, O’Grady isn’t wearing pajama bottoms.

The shock that O’Grady, senior, experienced in her freshman year isn’t all that uncommon. Many clubs and sports maintain initiation traditions to welcome their newest additions.

Every year for varsity lacrosse, returning members of the team go to their new teammates’ houses at 4:30 a.m. and treat the “newbies” to an early team breakfast. By the time they arrive to the school, all members are seen wearing their team shirts, while new members are distinguished with some crazy hat.

“We have an underlying theme for each new season. The themes are things we reference throughout the season to remind ourselves of how we can support one another,” O’Grady said.

The J. Kyle Braid Club also maintains its own initiation rituals. Similar to lacrosse, JKB members wake up the “JKBabies” in the early morning by surprising them in their bedrooms and then take them out to breakfast. “[The] memory will stay with [members] forever,” said Lily Chetosky, junior.

These traditions foster a desire to become a part of a club. Allison Gelman, junior, who made the varsity team for the first time this year, has anticipated the rituals since coming to Central. “I was always so awed by them!  They always seemed so close, and I wanted to be a part of a team like that,” Gelman said.

O’Grady believes that the club’s traditions are what makes it unique and demonstrates the close-knit environment. “Going out of our way to bond as a team and establish a comfortable environment for all players is what makes our team so special year after year,” O’Grady said.