It’s a rivalry for the ages, an annual rite of athletic competitions that energizes the spirit of the two finest schools in St. Louis. Country Day first faced off against John Burroughs in the winter of 1925-26. It was a basketball game, and Codasco emerged the winner. After that inaugural encounter, various teams from each school, including athletes from Mary Institute, met frequently in pitched battles on the fields and courts of the three campuses.
« There’s an atmosphere different from all the other games, » legendary MICDS Football Coach Ron Holtman once said. « It’s just a great rivalry. Things like the playoffs and some other surrogate rivalries that have built up around us, those are big things. Still, this is the game the players will remember the rest of their lives. »
The rivalry engenders such school spirit on both sides that Homecoming is now the focal point of competition. Our students celebrate MICDS for a week leading up to the traditional Homecoming football game, with themed spirit days (I am hoping at least a few students appreciated my wide 1970s-era polyester tie on Throwback Thursday), pep rallies, food trucks and bagpipers.
Over the past decade, Homecoming at MICDS has taken on new meaning and significance and has beautifully melded old traditions with new. Homecoming Weekend in our present era involves activities for the entire JK-12 community and athletic contests throughout the weekend on both campuses. Long-standing highlights of this week such as spirit days and the bonfire interweave with newer ones such as the Carnival and the MICDS-JBS Fun Run. And of course, one tradition of Homecoming has stood the test of time: the Saturday afternoon Varsity Football game which, in recent decades, has become a standing contest against the Bombers.
It’s now been 11 years since we launched the official Homecoming Weekend festivities here at MICDS. We will gather tonight for dinner around the food trucks before a fun pep rally, designed by and for students. A bonfire will be the perfect end to the evening. Then tomorrow, after the Fun Run between JBS and MICDS, we will spend the day on our beautiful campus, enjoying the Carnival in the MAC and a barbecue lunch and watching our varsity soccer, tennis, swimming, volleyball and field hockey teams compete before our football team takes the field in Ron Holtman Stadium. We will watch the massive Rams Army thunder by the field at kickoff, filling the student section with noise and cheers.
And through it all, we will cheer as one. “Beat the Bombers” is the traditional chant of the weekend. I am also a big fan of the cheer that celebrates MICDS no matter whom we are playing, no matter what time of year. I will close with it here today: “Let’s go RAMS!”
Head of School