Not even a persistent rain and chilly weather could put a damper on the 2023 Homecoming festivities at St. Albans.
Hundreds of parents, alumni, neighbors, friends, and students packed the stands at Steuart Field to cheer on soccer and football, and others loaded up their cars and trekked to Richmond, Va., to support cross-country.
When the final whistle blew, St. Albans had dominated the weekend.
It began with a pep rally led by Athletic Director Dan Ryan, as 2022-23 championship banners were unfurled to a roaring crowd of Lower and Upper School students. The afternoon featured a t-shirt cannon, giveaways, a performance by the jazz band, and plenty of hype up speeches by fall sports captains.
Energized and encouraged, the BEEF Club led a rowdy, Hawaiian shirt-clad fan section that had plenty to cheer about as soccer defeated Bullis 4-1 to remain undefeated in IAC play. Not to be outdone by the Upper Schoolers, Henry Miller ‘29 led in a collection of Lower School fans while playing the bagpipe.
Describing the team’s victory, Head Coach Brian Schultz said, “With the help of our school community rallying us on, our team showed great resilience against a determined and talented Bullis side to pick up a valuable three points in the IAC.”
Saturday morning kicked off with cross-country heading to the Milestat.com Invitational, one of the premier races in the country. With the stakes at their highest, the squad rose to the occasion. Head Coach Jim Ehrenhaft ’83 remarked after the race: “It might’ve been the strongest overall team performance in our program’s history today.” The data backed it up, too. The average race time of the Varsity A group was the fastest ever recorded in school history. Sebi Hume ’25 and William Strong ’25 finished 19th and 20th overall, leading the Bulldogs to a 2nd place overall finish, with an average time of 15:56 — a full 20 seconds faster than local rival Gonzaga College High School.
As a steady rain fell back on the Cathedral Close, the football team prepared to take on Bullis while fans enjoyed a Homecoming Barbecue on Grant Meadow. The inclement weather didn’t slow down the fun, as dozens lined up for the opportunity to sink Athletic Director Dan Ryan in a dunk tank.
The game kicked off at 2:00 PM and started slowly, as the BEEF Club attempted to will their beloved Bulldogs to victory. Zahir Cobb ’26 scored the first touchdown of the day and followed that up with a nearly 100-yard interception return touchdown as time expired in the first half to put the Dogs up 13-0. A late Bullis threat was quickly quashed, and St. Albans emerged victorious 19-9 to kick off IAC play with a victory.
Head Coach Orion Martin celebrated the victory while acknowledging the need to keep pushing for more success: “Our boys showed a lot of grit and discipline on Saturday to get the Homecoming win. It was a great team win from coaches, trainers, and players. We have to continue to get better and take care of the little things.”
The day was capped off with two Homecoming dances that were a well-deserved celebration of a great weekend. The dance floor was packed and the photobooth was frequented, making for a fun night of festivities.