After a nine-year hiatus, Kent Day, one of Loomis Chaffee’s most well-known and anticipated traditions, returned on Saturday, November 13.
On the last day of the regular season for fall sports, most Loomis Chaffee interscholastic teams traditionally compete against Kent in a day of athletic contests and school spirit.
The tradition began in 1921, when a Kent football player took a silver spoon from then-Head of School Nathaniel Batchelder’s house during the customary post-game tea service. The disappearance of the spoon created tension between the two schools for some time, but in 1947, the head of school at Kent returned the spoon and gave Loomis a large replica spoon, which was then used as the trophy for the winner of the rivalry football game. The score of the game was engraved into the spoon after each game. Wanting to acknowledge the hard work and competition of the other teams in the fall, a bowl was created to commemorate the school with the best win/loss record on the day among all the competing teams each year.
Eventually the rivalry fell apart when the two football teams joined different leagues, but with the creation of Founders League football last year the rivalry was reignited.
In anticipation of the matchup, the student led Loomis Chaffee Athletics Association (LCAA) planned a spirit week leading up to Kent Day. Dorms created banners to hang above their entrances, and the week included creative dress-down days and a Friday night pep rally.
Unfortunately, thunder and lightning on Saturday afternoon forced the cancellation of all outdoor JV and III games and the boys and girls varsity soccer games, but the varsity field hockey team, the varsity and JV volleyball teams, and the varsity football team were able to compete.
The field hockey team defeated Kent 4-1, and the varsity volleyball team beat the Lions 3-0 to capture the Founders League title and earn the No. 1 seed in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A Tournament.
The LCAA brought three buses full of student fans, who braved the weather to cheer on the teams and showed sportsmanship and spirit throughout.
The final game of the day, the football “Spoon Game,” was played in heavy rain and wind, and the Pelicans earned a 43-26 victory. It was the first time since 2002 that the football team had won the spoon.
On Monday, at an all-school meeting, Head of School Sheila Culbert and Director of Athletics Sue Cabot presented end-of-season awards won by several teams, including the Founders League trophy for the volleyball team, the Founders League championship plaque and the New England Prep School Track Association second-place plaque for the girls cross country team, and the spoon for the football team.
“We’re so excited to have the spoon back where it belongs, and we are so proud of the way our teams and athletes have competed all year long,” Sheila said. “Kent Day is back, and we are already looking forward to next year’s competition.”