In the absence of the competitive sports seasons, a new playing field has arisen: Quad Sports. While Quad Sports have been present every year, this year has brought out the best talents on campus. The Quads located in front of Samuel Phillips Hall and West Quad North and South have become epicenters for competition among athletes looking to be active amidst pandemic regulations. Spikeball, football, and soccer are the most common games occurring on these newly established playing fields. With the quarantine period for Lowers and Uppers having just ended, the level of play is expected to dramatically increase.
According to Duncan Buchanan PG’21, the Quads are a place for fierce competition, and there is a concrete set of keys to achieving success on the lawn in spikeball.
In an email to The Phillipian, Buchanan wrote, “Like the four horseman of the apocalypse, there are four pillars of Spikeball excellency, all of which must be achieved in order to even survive in the cut-throat arena of West Quad North. A good Spikeball partnership consists of the four keys; Intuition—this is a key individual trait as often in a game you can never see the ball, net and your partner at the same time and therefore that sixth sense is key; the ability to be one with your partner—in a game of Spikeball you and your partner must be one interchangeable being and therefore you must know your partner as much as you know your own mother; vigour and passion—games of spikeball are akin to battles between the Titans of old, there is no room for half measures and you must be willing to do anything for the game and for your team.”
Buchanon continued, “Finally, the most important key to Spikeball greatness is honour—we must play the game as it was intended with honor. In the words of arguably Spikeball’s greatest competitors and my fellow countrymen William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, ‘Only with honour can there be glory in this cruel game.’”
Bryce Farr ’23 has made the most of his first days out of quarantine as an elite football player and credits his success as a wide receiver to his mental strength and training regimen. His training companion, Bowman, a resident dog of Bartlet House, helps push him to his full potential.
“In the midst of these challenging times, remaining an exceptional target for my [quarter-back] is one thing that has not been a challenge. I credit this success on the field to the mental perspective that I obtain. Everyday, I wake up ready to go outside and one versus one whoever is in the mood for a challenge. Ever since I got on campus I have gone on daily runs. I often run up and down the Sam Phil steps with the thought of Rocky in mind. Though, I also don’t think I would be where I am today without my coach and motivation, Bowman,” said Farr.
According to Kevin Flores-Blackmore ’23, he has focused on an overwhelming training routine to enable him to dominate his daily football competition.
“Training is necessary for ruling the Quad. I normally weight-lift twice a day, football in the quad is really a physical sport that demands you to be a wrecking ball. I run half a marathon every other day to have some real speed, nobody catches me lacking on the field when it’s game time. I fuel my body with 5,000 calories a day, rough training requires rough eating, if you know what I mean,” said Flores-Blackmore.
According to Quincy Cunningham ’21, varsity and non-varsity athletes clash with one another, leading to high stakes and lively competition. Cunningham described a football play made by an athlete against a varsity player that shocked everyone on the quad.
“The varsity football kids are quite gifted with the ball and know exactly what they are doing which proves to be quite the challenge… One bug play that I will never forget is when [the] basketball PG from my dorm Luke Gordos [PG’21] caught the ball over one of our varsity [defensive backs] and we all went wild. It was a really good play and it felt good to see someone on my team outplay a varsity football player,” said Cunningham.