By MIKE SMITH
Rain may have washed out some of the events scheduled for Rye’s annual G-Day event on May 10, but the nascent celebration of the Garnets’ school spirit is alive and well in its second year and should be a staple on the Rye athletic calendar for years to come.
In 2013, the first-ever G-Day was held, partly as a fundraiser, but mostly as a celebration for Rye’s athletes–and the student body in general. This year, the G-Day weekend was scheduled to feature four home varsity contests, starting with a Friday afternoon softball game and culminating on Saturday night when the boys lacrosse team took on Rye Country Day School.
Although the lacrosse games scheduled for Saturday afternoon and evening were canceled due to the weather, the event still brought attention to the Garnets’ athletic programs.
“I think it gets people out, we have members of the community come out to support our teams,” Rye Athletic Director Rob Castagna said. “It’s designed to bring people together, to show the wholesome side of sports.”
Last year, one of the prevailing thoughts behind G-Day was to approximate the kind of school spirit that is showcased in the fall, notably with events like homecoming and the annual Harrison-Rye football game. One way to do this, Castagna said, was to ensure the rest of the student body–not only the athletes–would be a part of the G-Day proceedings.
In addition to scheduling a student band to play at Nugent Stadium during the games–something that was unfortunately canceled due to the rain–Rye’s students were encouraged to participate in the G-Day festivities with a weeklong day of themes at the high school.
“Every day was a different theme,” Castagna said. “We had American day, mustache day. I think it helped to build school camaraderie. I think this has a positive effect for all students. The student council had a fundraiser, we had musicians, athletes; it’s a celebration of Rye students showcasing their talents.”
Next year, Castagna said, the school hopes to add more events to the schedule and possibly include students from Rye Country Day in the celebration.
“Planning-wise, this is up there with all the big tournaments,” Castagna said. “There’s probably even more planning because the entire student body is involved, so we started planning in December. We bring in a lot of people for the community and we’re looking to add to the schedule in the future.”
-With reporting by Vidal Serfaty