Members of the MFS community from all throughout the region congregated in the Westin on Wednesday night and then dispersed all throughout the Westin to celebrate the school’s athletes.
The school’s annual Varsity Night, a celebration of all its varsity athletes, took place on May 20 at the Westin. The event’s format was changed drastically from previous years; instead of one large dinner for all guests where all teams presented to the entire community, teams split up for smaller, shorter, and more intimate presentation in separate rooms. Each fall sport had its own small-group presentation, followed by a parallel format for winter and then spring sports. Instead of a full meal, guests found desserts in the lobby as well as in each small room.
These changes come in light of a survey put out by the Athletic Department three years ago, along with feedback from last year’s event. Many guests felt that the event’s large setting was impersonal and did not encourage interest in the coaches’ presentations, and this year’s changes were an effort to fix these problems.
“The kids and families…[got] an opportunity to really hear what the coach had to say,” said Athletic Director Danielle Dayton. “This way, we more than doubled our amount of time the coach had to speak with and about their program, which was important because a lot of effort goes into student athletes and a team.”
The format change greatly increased each coach’s allotted time to present his or her team while shortening the overall duration of the event. After all team presentations, all guests gathered in one room to honor senior Scholar Athletes and those who had made the Athletic Honor Roll.
“[I] thought that the new format provided a more intimate setting,” said senior and three-sport Varsity athlete Tommy Martin. “Each coach could say what they wanted to a group of people who were all interested in hearing.”
“I really like the new set up and how everyone was able to be heard and seen.” commented junior Margaux Vellucci, a member of the Varsity Cross Country team. “The benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks.”
This year’s Varsity Night had 415 guests, the most in the event’s history. The shift from a full dinner to dessert and coffee yielded a significant price drop, which, along with the more efficient format, likely drew many people who had not attended the event in the past.
“I was very pleased with the way the event ran,” reflected Dayton. “That’s due to a lot of people’s hard work. It was a fantastic display of teamwork, which is what athletics is all about. It gave our student athletes a better opportunity to enjoy the evening and be honored the way they should be.”
When asked about next year’s Varsity night being run the same way, Dayton lit up. “Yes, I sure hope so!”