Team Phoenix emerged victorious in this year's annual Quad Games, defeating teams Large, Fearing, and Thayer over an exciting six days of competition.
In this week-long event, the entire student body divides up into four teams, and they compete against each other in a variety of games and activities, to see which can amass the most points. Students and faculty really get into the spirit of the occasion, making posters and banners for the event, and rallying enthusiastically in support of each other and the School. The Quad Games are a central component of the School's residential life program during the winter term.
Students competed in a wide range of games and activities—cageball, basketball, chess, indoor soccer, backgammon, cook-offs, dodgeball, cloisterball, spelling bees, broom ball, squash, spelling bee, rock-paper scissors, name that tune, and more! Points were awarded not just for winning, but for attendance at optional school events and performances, and for , spirit, and sportsmanship, as determined by a panel of roving faculty judges.
Established in 2014, the Quad Games marked the return to an old St. Mark's tradition, long abandoned and now revived, albeit with a new take for the modern era. As far back as 1898, the student body at St. Mark's had been divided up into intramural clubs—at first just two, known as Brotherhood and Fearing. They would compete with each other for points in a schoolwide intramural tennis tournament in the fall and a schoolwide intramural track meet in the spring, as well as in games between club teams in football and baseball. In 1921, to accommodate a growing enrollment, a third club—Thayer, named after Headmaster William Greenough Thayer—was added, and over the years club competition was added in hockey, squash, and on occasion both cloisterball and Fives. In later years, points were also awarded to teams for members earning varsity letters and for competitive participation in a number of other events and activities. By 1995, however, the St. Mark's intramural club competition had ended, with Brotherhood having won laurels for a given year 31 times (with 3 ties), Fearing with 21 victories (also 3 ties), and Thayer 21 winning years (with 2 ties).
This year, almost thirty years after the last intramural club competition, Dean of Students David Vachris decided to revive the tradition. In the interim, there had been House competitions between dormitories for points, but there was an unfair unevenness to that system. So four teams were created. Two of them—Team Fearing and Team Thayer—bore the names of those earlier clubs. New to St. Mark's were Team Large—named after longtime St. Mark's Senior Master (and current football and baseball coach) Henry Large; and Team Phoenix—named in honor of the Southborough School for Girls, which coordinated with St. Mark's for five years in the 1970s and had as its symbol the Phoenix rising through the flames. These four teams now compete in the new Quad Games at St. Mark's.
Led by captains Teagan Ladner and Tyreese James, Phoenix attained their goal of going "worst to first" and winning the 2017 Quad Games.
This was Team Phoenix's first Quad Games championship in the four years of the competition. Wearing shirts emblazoned with the Phoenix and also with title of the Southborough School song—"We Will Rise!"—Team Phoenix rose to the occasion with a spirited and successful Quad Games in 2017. Interestingly, each of the four teams now owns one Quad Game title over the past four years. Team Large took home the 2014 championship, edging Phoenix on the last day. In 2015, Fearing won the title, and in 2016 it was Thayer. And now it is Phoenix.
There were 44 different evenst this year. Some highlights
Phoenix winning the Tug O War!
Nolan Moore (Thayer) and Jack Eames (Th) champions of the Egg Toss
Nick Murray (Fear) and Gunnar Vachris (Phx) win the Cloisterball Tournaments
Julia Munn (Phx) and Dom Mongillo (Phx) won their respective squash tournaments
Leo Xie (Lg) for winning the hotly contested Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament.
Aidana Maitekova (Lg) wins the Paper Air Plane Throwing Contest
Team Fearing for proving that you can complete a 750 piece puzzle in 45 minutes!
Tyreese James (Phx) and Sierra Petties (Lg) for winning the arm wrestling tournaments.
Ryder Henry (Phx) for winning the Chess Tournament
Matt Gates (Phx) for winning the Spelling Bee.
Phoenix winning the first Lip Sync Contest with their rendition of "It's Raining Men!"
Overall, this year's competitions were fun and energetic as well as another unqualified success!