Freshman Focus

Ah... Being a freshman in high school. There is no other trauma like it. There was at least one good experience, if any, that I've for sure had this year, and that was "Freshman Focus" day.

Based on a program for college freshman at Duke University, HHES adopted it and tested it out on the class of '04. The day started out chilly and windy, and our pre-selected teams all gathered spirit and entheusiam as soon as we arrived. The teams were Duke, Sewanee, Clemson, and USC, I was on USC.

The first activity was making a banner for our team and learning facts and a song and cheer to compete with the other teams. Then we went to the practice field, and played a very difficult game of capture the flag. It was a little too hard because it was on a completly open field. USC lost, and I think Duke won, and Clemson, or something. When Griffin came to get the USC flag, our entire team was trying to get Clemson's flag, with Kevin the gimp (he had a broken leg or something) left in front of the flag. As a last resort, Kevin threw his crutches at Griffin and tried to tackle him. How cool is that.

After that madness, football began. Most of the girls had no idea what to do, or how to play, including me, so we just sorta went along with the guys. USC also lost these games, but we were cheated out of one due to some bad referees. I finally learned how to play football! (sorta). mm. Well after the football games, which, I can't remember who won, we ate lunch.

We had a hamburger cookout. It was yummy. After that, all the teams presented or, as Carroll likes to say, "Presentated", our banners, songs, cheers, and facts. For the banners, USC was cheated out of first place by Duke, USC got second, Clemson got third, and Sewanee got fourth. Coach Wood can draw an uber gamecock. Then we did the cheers/songs. Clemson's was by far the best. I think they had been rehersing that for a week or something. It was hilarious, they all got in a circle, and Matt was in the middle with one of those fake huge afro's, painted orange of course, and they did a dance, and they had posters... gaw it was soooo cool. USC's sucked. We didn't really do anything but clap, and Kevin the gimp danced with his crutches. Our cheer was, C-A-R-O-L-I-N-A GOOOOOOOOOOOOO COCKS! We got last place. Clemson got first. Can't remember the rest. After the song/cheer, we recited one fact per person about the school we represented. USC got first place! Hooray.

When these presentations were complete, all of the groups moved to the HHES pond for the canoe regatta (canoe relay race). We had one canoe, and had to go around the pond 5 times, including everyone on our team sometime on one of the trips. Whoever got first place, got 200 points. This really was exciting, the USC team got a huge lead the first time around, and we kept the lead through out the race. Some boats tipped, dumping Rex, Frank, and Matt in a few times, and I think a boat with Kate, Collete and someone else. It was great to watch, everyone worked together and got pond water all over ourselves... sooo fun. I can't remember who came in after us, too much excitement. When this was complete, and the pfd's were off, we put our shoes back on for the tug-of-war.

The canoe relay race.

This boat tipped quite a few times...all right Matt, Rex, and Frank!

First it was USC vs. Sewanee I think, and we won after two rounds, which was exilerating. Then Clemson and Duke went, and Clemson beat Duke (Thanks EGG). After that it was USC vs. Clemson, and WE WON! Another 200 points. Then Duke vs. Sewanee, and I can't remember who won that. It was so awsome. I'm suprised the rope didn't break. The first few seconds were tough, and the rope wouldent move, or it would switch directions, then it would be still, with all of us grunting and slipping and pulling like all hell, and magically it would inch slowly towards our side, and then it would come faster, and we'd keep on pulling, and then someone would blow a whistle, and we'd let go and cheer really loud... it was such a good feeling. Turns out, USC BEAT OUT ALL THE OTHER TEAMS!!!!! We just beat Duke by a little bit, but we still pulled it out of the bag. It was so fun

The pictures below are from the real HHes site- if you want to go see all of them (they're more) go to and then go to "events" and then to "highlights" scroll to the bottom and click "Freshman Focus"

Did Clemson win? nooooo

Did Duke win? We all thought so...

Did Sawanee win? noooo

Did USC win?! YEAH!!!!!

The day after all this excitement, everyone came to school sunburned and sore. Some people who painted their faces with the symbol of their team still had the symbol on themselves, just now its BURNED in! haahaa. Most of those people were Sewanee people. Pretty funny. All in all I think it was the best day of 9th grade I've had all year.