Tired legs pushing against the ground, sweat falling into their eyes, the freshmen sprint towards the finish line, marking their victory. As they cross the line, the crowd roars with excitement for … DiLorenzo’s homeroom, the victor of the 2015 Ranger Day chariot races. Just one of the many exciting events at Ranger Day, the chariot races are the last activity of the fun-filled day, where Jesuit and Ursuline’s students alike celebrate homecoming.

One of the most anticipated days of the year, Ranger Day celebrates the whole school, our relationship with Ursuline, and exemplifies the brotherhood present among the students. The celebration of the day prepares the school for the homecoming football game that takes place that night. This year, Ranger Day combined celebrated traditions with new twists on the events of the day.

Before Ranger Day, the school was as excited for the event as ever before. Who wouldn’t be excited for a day with food, fellowship, exciting games and activities, and no classes? Having never experienced Ranger Day, the freshmen were arguably the most excited. Remi Beaudoin ’19 said that “[the Freshmen] were really excited to see the school come together for a day that really demonstrates the brotherhood and spirit of the school that we have learned to love.”

Even those who had experienced the events of Ranger Day were still excited to experience them. Matthew Cornwall, ’18, stated that “It’s awesome to see the whole student body come together and show passion for our school.” The traditions of Ranger Day instilled into each student, the entire Jesuit community always looks forward to Ranger Day.

After reporting to homeroom with their classmates, each grade filed into the gym for a pep rally. Led by the seniors on their last Ranger Day, the students were ecstatic as they watched their classmates participate in “epic” stunts, dunk contests, boxing matches, and bowling tournaments. The pep-rally also served to wish our cross country team luck as they journeyed to participate in the UIL State Cross Country Championship.

After the pep-rally, the grades proceeded to enjoy the events of the day, including live performances by students, sports, and fierce competitions between grade levels. Even the Ursuline students were involved during the annual juniors vs. seniors powderpuff game, a showdown in which the juniors emerged victorious. There was something for everyone until the most anticipated event of the day arrived at eleven o’clock: the famous chariot races.

DSC_0306 DSC_0307The chariot races took on a different look this year after the robotics team designed and created chariots for each homeroom. These chariots were designed to be passed down year after year, and they were made to withstand the intensity of the chariot races. Decorated by the freshmen and their senior big brothers, the chariots lined up on the track, their bearers ready to race against their peers in the chase for the victory of one of the school’s most cherished events.

Their basketball-themed decorations glinted in the November sun, a perfect day at the races. The gun sounded the beginning of each heat, in which two chariots raced over a 200 meter stretch of the track to the finish line, where eager spectators watched and cheered for their favorite chariots.

Between heats, performances and presentations were enjoyed by the crowd, with performances by the Jesuit-Ursuline Ranger Band and Color Guard, the Rangerettes, and the Jesuit cheer team. Even the robotics team was involved by using their t-shirt cannon to launch homecoming t-shirts into the crowds. There was a recreation of the Battle of Pamplona, with a lucky freshman playing the part of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Finally, Mr. DiLorenzo’s homeroom, representing the Milwaukee Bucks, emerged victorious in the winner’s heat.

Reactions to the day had a few common themes: joy, pride, and excitement for the remainder of the year. After experiencing Ranger Day for the first time, Connor Lehman, ’19, expressed that “the events that we could participate in with our Jesuit brothers really helped us form stronger bonds.” The proud looks on his peers’ faces and their interactions with his classmates definitely showed that they shared his feelings.

Even the teachers enjoy Ranger Day. Mr. John Hill, ’08, expressed his feelings about Ranger Day, saying, “I really enjoy Ranger Day because you get see people do what makes them happy.” Mr. Hill perfectly summarizes the event, a place where everyone can do what they love.

Unlike the freshmen who are experiencing Ranger Day for the first time, the seniors must say goodbye to the day that they love as it is their last year as students to participate in the events. Fortunately, Ranger Day was as exciting as ever, reflected by Marco Navarro, ’16, who commented, “the whole community really came together to celebrate Jesuit,” an experience that can’t be rivaled by any other event.

As the most anticipated day of the school year came to an end, it left a lasting impression on all of the students. It represented all of the members of the school, all of what Jesuit stands for, and the brotherhood present among the students. It was truly a special event, and those lucky enough to experience it surely have a special place in their hearts for Ranger Day 2015.