Freshmen Kick Off Their First Year at NFA

Baylee Wicken, Staff Writer

“We were looking for something that kids would come to right after school; hang out for a while, go to practice, and then come,” explained ninth grade math teacher, and member of the Cranston House Council, Melissa Cassidy. And, thus, the Cranston Kick-Off was born. On Friday October 3, 2015, the class of 2019 gathered in the cafeteria to embrace their school spirit and celebrate before the first home football game of the season.

The freshmen “kicked off” the year with food and drink, games, and an overall good time. Teachers and students had planned to spend the evening outside playing games; however, rain forced a change of plans. Though not ideal, the Class of 2019 still had a blast, and spent their evening bonding in the cafeteria, and then watching the Norwich Free Academy Wildcats defeat the Griswold Wolverines.

Jacob Favry said, “The best part about being a freshman at NFA would probably be the experience.” Students and teachers alike went head-to-head in a corn-hole tournament, letting everyone have a glimpse at one another’s competitive side. The best part of the Cranston Kick-Off, according to Jasmine Dziekan, was, “…just getting to hang out with my friends and bonding with the other freshmen.”

A general consensus among many freshmen was that they were glad the Kick-Off took place in place of  the dance that was held in previous years. Dziekan said, “I kind of liked it as a tailgate. As long or short as it seemed, it would have probably been different.” Lliam Daly agreed that, “… there are advantages and disadvantages for both. I mean, I probably would [keep] it as the Kick-Off. Personally, I think it was better because it’s kind of awkward if you call it a dance… no one would really dance.”

Daly said, “The best part of the Cranston Kick-Off was being able to be with your friends before the game. The worst part would probably be that it was sort of a chaos that ensued at the Kick Off. There was a lot of yelling, and stuff being thrown ,and at one point, the music randomly got louder.” However, he believes that this event did help him connect with friends. He also enjoyed being competitive with his peers.

Dziekan would improve the event by having, “… more variety of games. Probably other games, like competitions.” Still, she also enjoyed getting to hang out with her friends, and connecting with other freshmen.

Favry agreed that, although he enjoyed the event, changes should be made in the future. “Definitely have it outdoors. Also, the way they were advertising it was that it was going to be more of a tailgating session. However, except for the games and the music, I didn’t really feel like I was at a tailgate. When you go tailgating you have sodas and your typical ballpark food. Probably the food, just changing it up a little.”  Favry added that he was glad to get to learn about his classmates’ competitive sides, and about their likes and dislikes.

Will the Cranston Kick-Off become an annual event?  “It will be an annual event; we may even do another one in the spring! We are hoping the next time we will be able to have the event outdoors.  We also will try to get more corn hole games to have even more tournaments as well as other lawn games,” said Cassidy.