House Teams Provide Competitive Focus
by Mary Jane Maloney Leone
When Gibbons Hall was founded in 1949, the boys in grades 4-8 were assigned to house teams, Newman or Lafosse. These names – Newman and Lafosse –recalled the achievements of dedicated priests in nineteenth century England and France, respectively. Assigned to the A, B, or C team according to his height and weight, a boy and his brothers played on the same house team in a given year, although they probably played on both Newman and Lafosse throughout their Gibbons Hall careers. Originally, the boys’ athletic program included football, basketball, and boxing. Mr. Pinto believed strongly that boxing taught positive skills; he personally taught boxing and tumbling. In the 1960s, boxing gave way to baseball and soccer as team sports.
When St. Genevieve grammar school and Gibbons Hall merged into the coed St. Genevieve-Gibbons Hall in 1971, the girls in grades 4 – 9 were assigned to Cones and Needles House teams, retaining the reference to the school’s origins as St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines. In addition to field hockey in the fall season and archery, girls played basketball in winter and, for many years, softball in spring. During the final years of SG/GH, older girls could participate in a coed tennis team.
SG/GH FIELD DAY
The grand finale of the athletic year was Field Day, held each May, with House Team competitions. A number of track events gave each student an opportunity to compete and to receive a ribbon. The raucous and passionate Tug-of-War between A, B, and C teams concluded the day’s contests, as parents and teammates loudly and vigorously cheered their athletes.
WINNING ATHLETIC CUPS
The excitement of the year-long competitions between House Teams built to a climax at the end of each year, when the winners – Newman or Lafosse and Cones or Needles – were announced. The captain of each team – one boys’ team and one girls’ team – that had accrued the most points in all games and on Field Day – received a cup with the team’s name inscribed on it.
The winning captains received the cups amid uproarious cheers and applause and carried them proudly home for the year. From 1950 – 71, at Gibbons Hall, Newman won 15 times and Lafosse 7. From 1972 – 87, a final tally reveals that both Newman and Lafosse won the trophy 8 times; beginning in 1973, Cones won 8 times, and Needles 7.